Sales of new automobiles, light-trucks and SUVs in the U.S. picked up their pace dramatically last month, hitting an annual rate of 16.4 million, far above the 15.3 million yearly rate in October and the best since early 2007.
Total sales during the month registered nearly 1.25 million, an 8.9% gain from a year ago, beating many analysts’ expectations.
The nation’s largest car retailer, General Motors, reported its best November in six years, increasing 14% from a year ago, while Ford saw its best November in nine years, with sales picking up 7.2%. Chrysler, reported an increase of 16%, its best November since 2007.
Foreign auto makers also had reason to smile with sales at Toyota and Nissan increasing more than 10%, while Hyundai reported a 5% gain and Kia a 1.3% increase. Others reporting hikes for the month include Subaru, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Jaguar/Land Rover and even Maserati.
In contrast, Honda was the lone automaker among the biggest six to report a drop, falling 0.1%. Also seeing a decline was Volkswagen, losing 16%, while Mazda and BMW also saw declines.
Some are forecasting auto deliveries next year to hit 16.1 million. While that would amount to the smallest annual increase since its rebound from a 27-year low for sales in 2009, it would extend the industry’s streak of gains to five years for just the second time since World War II, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.