Fiat Chrysler must be saying “thank goodness” for a crude all terrain vehicle that was the favorite of GI’s back in WW II. Because Jeep sales rose 20 percent in November, giving FCA an overall 3 percent sales increase for the month. It was the 68th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains for the company. The Ram pickup registered its best November sales ever. On the other side of the ledger, Fiat sales fell 3 percent and Chrysler sales were off 12 percent.
Just a note on Jeep: The Saturday Road Test will feature two of them this month, the hot selling Cherokee and the Renegade, the smallest Jeep on the market.
On a year-over-year basis, GM sales rose 2 percent with truck sales up 10 percent and crossovers up 35 percent. This with two fewer selling days last month and sales incentives that GM said were below the industry average. “We believe U.S. auto sales will continue to grow in 2016, based on the underlying strength of the economy…” said Mustafa Mohatarem, GM’s chief economist.
Ford reported only a slight sales increase of 0.4 percent compared to a year ago. Demand was strong for the F-150 series pickup, with a 10 percent gain. Ford brand sales were up 0.6 percent with Lincoln sales off 2.4 percent for the month. Reflecting recent industry trends, Ford’s car sales fell 11.5 percent while truck sales overall rose 18.3 percent.
Nissan reported a 4 percent sales gain last month with crossovers, trucks and SUV’s setting a November record. Much in demand were the Rogue and Murano.
Subaru has broken its yearly U.S. sales record of 513,693 with a month remaining in this sales year. It said the results were driven by the Forester, Outback and Crosstrek models. It will release November sales data later.
An industry association predicts auto sales in Germany will grow by 4 percent this year, despite the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Car sales rose 9 percent last month.
Ford will create 2,000 new jobs and invest $1.3 billion in its Louisville, Kentucky truck plant ahead of the launch date for the 2017 Super Duty truck. The big investment will cover the creation of a new body shop, upgrades elsewhere and the retooling necessary to create the new truck. It is interesting to note that Ford began manufacturing vehicles in Kentucky in 1913 with a total of 11 workers.
The estimated average transaction price for light vehicles was $33,801 in November, a gain of just 0.4 percent according to Kelley Blue Book. The 2016 Volvo XC90 rung up an average transaction price that was nearly 40 percent higher than this time last year. Among full size pickups, the Toyota Tundra saw a gain of 10 percent, KBB said.
On this date in 1913 what went on to become the Gulf Oil Company opened the nation’s first drive-in gas station in Pittsburgh. It featured a pagoda-style roof to shelter the pumps, cars and station attendants. Before this station opened gasoline was dispensed from pumps awkwardly located at grocery and hardware stores, and even some pharmacies.