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Commentary & Voices

Cox Automotive Commentary: November U.S. Auto Sales


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The Cox Automotive team is analyzing November auto sales data this week, with initial results coming in roughly as forecast before the Thanksgiving holiday. With fewer selling days compared to November 2019 and last month, sales volume is expected to take a step back after improving for five straight months. 

Cox Automotive Senior Economist Charlie Chesbrough notes, “Sales volume is likely to be down from last year, as expected, thanks to fewer selling days and multiple market headwinds. Car sales continue to drop quickly as well, as more consumers turn to SUVs and pickups. However, the overall automotive market sales pace does not appear to have fallen significantly in November and will likely end the year near our forecasted 14.3 million sales.”

Average transaction prices (ATP) in November remained elevated, according to forecast data from our Kelley Blue Book team. While lower than the record-high reached in October, the ATP in November, at $39,259, was the third-highest in history. Full-size pickup truck ATPs are approaching $55,000; Full-size SUVs average north of $67,000. Both continue to sell well.

With inventory still low but beginning to return to normal, December auto sales will depend heavily on OEM incentives and consumer sentiment. Both are down, which is why Brian Finkelmeyer, senior director of new-car sales solutions at Cox Automotive, believes year-end deals will be less than typical. Read his post “Everything About 2020 Is Different, Including Year-End Deals” in the Cox Automotive Newsroom.

For more information and data on November new- and used-vehicle sales performance, check back on the Cox Automotive Newsroom.

If you would like to speak with one of the expert analysts from Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book or any member of the Cox Automotive Industry Insights team, please contact us.

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