Ford November sales up; GM, FCA down

Nora Naughton
The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co. was the only Detroit automaker to report a sales increase in November, despite Black Friday offers lasting all month.

The Blue Oval’s sales were up 6.7 percent while General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles saw sales declines of 2.9 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

Ford’s increases were driven by a good month for trucks and SUVs, with the Explorer up nearly 25 percent and the F-Series posting a nearly 1 percent gain compared to November 2016.

GM fell 2.9 percent on a tough month for the GMC brand amid declining fleet sales, with the Canyon pickup and Yukon each down about 26 percent.

Despite significant gains for FCA’s Jeep Compass and Cherokee, the Jeep brand’s sales fell 2 percent. The Dodge brand was down 15 percent and Ram trucks declined 5 percent with pickups sales remaining flat last month. Chrysler was the only brand to post an increase in November, up 14 percent on a hot month for the Pacifica minivan, which saw a 51 percent increase in deliveries.

Analysts are expecting overall auto sales to pick up in November, driven by incentives and Black Friday deals.

“Usually, the first two weeks of the month are slow, especially before a holiday,” Edmunds analyst Jessica Caldwell said in a statement. “But this year retailers are pushing the Black Friday bargains throughout the entire month of November, and it's putting everyone in a buying mood. It also doesn't hurt that automakers are starting to really sweeten the deals to clear out lingering 2017s and end this year on a high note.”

Edmunds is forecasting a seasonally adjusted annual selling rate of 17.8 million in November, putting the industry on pace for another record-breaking year, while others are more conservative. Kelley Blue Book is predicting a SAAR around 17.1 million in November

After a record year of sales in 2016 and seven consecutive annual increases, Kelley Blue Book's forecast for 2017 calls for sales in the range of 17 and 17.2 million units, which represents a 1.5 to 3 percent decrease from last year.