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Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke looks to 2018

Deals, light-truck demand push U.S. sales to Nov. record

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Article Highlights

  1. U.S. auto sales, behind strong results at Nissan, Ford and Honda, rose 1.4 percent to 1,399,640 in November -- a record for the month -- exceeding most forecasts and driven by light-truck demand and fatter deals.
  2. The seasonally adjusted, annualized sales rate came in at 17.55 million, well above the 17.3 million forecast and the third-highest pace of the year -- behind 18 million-plus levels in September and October. In November 2016, the SAAR came in at 17.7 million.
  3. "We won’t see a fourth quarter better than last year’s, but we can see positive momentum heading into 2018," said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for Cox Automotive.

U.S. auto sales, behind strong results at Nissan, Ford and Honda, rose 1.4 percent to 1,399,640 in November — a record for the month — exceeding most forecasts and driven by light-truck demand and fatter deals.

It is only the second month this year that light-vehicle sales rose year over year. Light truck volume jumped 7.4 percent while car deliveries remained weak, falling 8.8 percent.

Among other major automakers, volume slipped at Toyota, FCA, General Motors and Hyundai-Kia.

The seasonally adjusted, annualized sales rate came in at 17.55 million, well above the 17.3 million forecast and the third-highest pace of the year — behind 18 million-plus levels in September and October. In November 2016, the SAAR came in at 17.7 million.

“We won’t see a fourth quarter better than last year’s, but we can see positive momentum heading into 2018,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for Cox Automotive.

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