After three months of small declines, U.S. light vehicle sales in November rose 3.6% compared to November 2015. Industrywide sales hit a record for the month—1.378 million —the highest for November in 15 years.
Continued demand for light trucks, low gasoline prices, steady economic and job growth and two extra selling days helped boost November auto sales. Also, incentive spending last month (about $3,475 per vehicle) was up 13% vs. 2015, according to analysts.
The seasonally adjusted, annualized sales rate (SAAR) remained strong but dropped to 17.83 million from October’s 17.98 million. It was also lower than the 18.07 million SAAR from November 2015.
November began with many consumers jittery about the Presidential election and Donald Trump’s surprising victory but, ultimately, the election had a minimal effect on vehicle sales.
Analysts say there are still a number of challenges to U.S. light vehicle sales going forward including the potential of rising interest rates, weakening residuals and tightening in financing availability.