This story has been updated to include November numbers for Honda, Subaru, Mercedes-Benz, and several other key makers.
Sales of new cars surged at an unexpectedly strong rate for November, exceeding initial forecasts that might have suggested the domestic market was beginning to slow down after a torrid spring and summer.
The November increase was matched by a solid increase in transaction prices as consumers stepped up to purchase the latest models as well as more expensive trucks and utility vehicles.
Automakers may have been among the big winners over a holiday weekend that has traditionally seen shoppers focus on department and electronic star bargains, rather than cars. Aided by their own Black Friday sales promotions, automakers kept showrooms busy – helping boost the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate, or SAAR, to 16.3 million, the best monthly figure this year, and a sign the industry has managed to shrug off a drop in consumer confidence that followed the government shutdown in October. (more…)