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Analysts Expect First November Car Sales Slide in 9 Years

Despite predicted fall, sales will come in at a very healthy 17.3M units.

by on Nov.23, 2018

Fiat Chrysler is expected to post another strong month of sales in November, despite an overall fall for the month.

The weekend after Thanksgiving stretching from Black Friday to Cyber Monday has turned into one of the busiest sales periods on the U.S. auto industry’s calendar.

But analysts from Edmunds are predicting that November sales will drop on a year-over-year basis for the first time since 2009.

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Edmunds is forecasting that 1.376 million new and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in November for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17.3 million. 

The estimate reflects a 1.3% increase in sales from October 2018 — and it is also a 1.3 % drop from November 2017.

(U-M economists predicting solid auto sales for 2018. Click Here for the story.)

Edmunds analysts noted that this month marks the first drop since the recession in part due to increasing demand and in part due to November becoming a bigger sales month thanks to automakers and dealers capitalizing on Black Friday.

Hyundai's push to round out its SUV line-up is expected to net positive returns in the month ahead.

“Retailers have been pushing Black Friday car deals through the entire month of November, so unless they decide to pull out all the stops in the 11th hour, this is likely going to be the first time we see November sales take a dip in nearly a decade,” said Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds’ manager of industry analysis.

“Although sales remain at a healthy level, factors such as increasing market saturation, rising transaction prices and elevated interest rates continue to create headwinds for the industry overall. November’s sales slowdown signifies a new normal that we can expect through at least the end of 2018, and likely into 2019.”

(Click Here for more about Lexus kicking off its annual holiday sales campaign.)

Edmunds estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 14.3 million vehicles in November 2018, with fleet transactions accounting for 17.2% of total sales. An estimated 3 million used vehicles will be sold in November 2018, for a SAAR of 39.8 million (compared to 3.3 million — or a SAAR of 39.6 million — in October).

No more "soft-roader," the 2019 Toyota RAV4 can handle a reasonable bit of off-roading.

For the first time, estimates for Tesla are included in the Edmunds retail SAAR calculations, volume forecasts and market share estimates for November.

Edmunds analysts note that Tesla’s increasing impact on the market makes it necessary to include these figures as part of the overall industry sales picture, and as a result will continue to include them monthly moving forward.

(To see more about how the rise of used car prices is impacting new car leasing, Click Here.)

Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and Hyundai-Kia are expected to post sales gains, according to the Edmunds estimate. General, Motors, Ford Motor Co, Honda, Nissan and Volkswagen/Audi are expected to see sales slip.

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