The last Chrysler 200 will roll off the line today at the Fiat Chrysler plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, according to the Detroit News. The plant will be retooled to produce the next generation Ram 1500 pickup truck with its 1,700 workers on temporary layoffs. Once the retooling is complete, FCA insists that more workers will be added at Sterling Heights.
Toyota announced it will introduce the next generation Camry at the January North American International Auto Show. One official called it the most significant vehicle that Toyota has introduced in a long time, and he’s right on a couple of counts. Number one is the fact that the Camry has been this nation’s top selling automobile for some time. And number two, will that continue as the market increasingly turns to cross over vehicles and SUV’s? A teaser photo of the new Camry was also released.
November’s robust sales, virtually across the board, have the experts talking again about a record sales year after a dip or three of late. Overall, sale rose 3.7 percent last month as consumers continued to prefer trucks, crossovers and SUV’s to cars. Truck sales made up nearly 60 percent of all vehicles sold, according to the Detroit News. Car sales overall fell 3.1 percent.
In case, you missed it late yesterday, here’s how your favorite brand did last month, and why they are giving thanks long after the holiday.
The good news rolled in throughout the day with Subaru, Hyundai and Kia reporting record sales last month with Suby now posting 60 consecutive months of yearly month-over-month growth. So some cars were selling against the trend.
Subaru said sales rose 11.4 percent thanks to the best month ever for Outback, and the best November ever for Crosstrek, Forester and Legacy.
Sales were up 4 percent at Hyundai over a year ago. “With gas prices remaining relatively low throughout the year and a rather robust economy, our Tucson and Santa Fe CUVs, with sales up 10 and 18 percent, respectively, continue to be the shining stars in the Hyundai line-up,” said Derrick Hatami, vice president of national sales for Hyundai Motor America.
Kia posted an impressive 15.3 percent sales gain last month with the best November sales ever for the Forte and Sportage. It saw double digit gains for the Rio, Soul, Forte, Sportage and Sedona. Officials cited “strong” Black Friday weekend demand as one reason for the improvement.
Turning to Detroit:
GM’s total November sales rose more than 10 percent from last year with Buick, Cadillac, and GMC posting double digit gains. Buick has the largest boost at 22 percent while Cadillac sales increased 17 percent. “We are ahead of plan selling down our 2016 model year inventory and we expect to close out December with more retail share growth,” said Kurt McNeil, GM’s vice president of U.S. Sales Operations.
Over at Ford, sales gained five percent driven by the F-Series trucks, SUVS and Lincoln vehicles. Ford F-Series has its best November since 2001 on strong F-150 and Super Duty retail demand. SUV sales came in 20 percent stronger while Lincoln dealers should be happy with a 19 percent increase last month. “Plus, strong consumer demand for well-equipped Super Dutys helped boost Ford’s overall average transaction prices in November, which are up $1,000 versus a year ago – well ahead of the industry average of $320,” said Mark LaNeve, vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service.
Things turned sour at Fiat Chrysler however where sales fell 14 percent from a year ago. Jeep sales were off 12 percent, Chrysler was down 47 percent but the new Pacifica van could turn that around a bit next month. Dodge sales were also lower last month, but Ram trucks did post a 12 percent gain. Fiat sales dropped 19 percent. The company posted a big drop in fleet sales as FCA continues to reduce its sales to the daily rental segment.
Overall, Honda reported a 6.5 percent increase to join those reporting record November sales. Acura sales declined 5.1 percent, but strong customer demand for the Honda Fit and HR-V helped the cause. Accord sales were up 6.3 percent. “Considering the continued consumer appetite for trucks and SUVs, we’re excited to see Honda cars resonate so well with our customers,” said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division.
Toyota said sales improved 4.3 percent from a year earlier with an official saying he expects the industry to set a new sales record for November. As for his company, Bill Fay, group vice president and GM of Toyota said, “All-time best-ever Highlander sales combined with November best-ever RAV4 volume extends the Toyota Division’s 2016 streak of consecutive light truck sales records to 11 months.” Lexus sales were lower by one percent.
Mazda sales fell 3 percent year over year.
BMW brand sales were off 18.2 percent but Mini sales gained 1.4 percent.
Nissan showed a 7.5 percent gain in demand with crossovers, trucks and SUV’s setting November records. Rogue and Murano saw record November demand.
Volkswagen, on increased sales of the Tiguan, Passat, and Golf SportWagen saw demand increase 24.2 percent over a year earlier.