November auto sales could be up or down


By Kalea Hall

khall@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Some analysts say auto sales will increase more than 3 percent while others expect a slight decrease year over year in November.

Automakers will release their November sales figures today.

Edmunds’ analysts expect a 3.5 percent increase in sales year over year to 1.42 million.

Kelley Blue Book analysts meanwhile expect sales to decrease by 1 percent year over year to 1.36 million. Both November 2016 and 2017 have 25 sales days.

“In a nutshell, I think November will be a very, very strong [month],” said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “It will be the second highest [November] ever. We are just projecting a slight decline.”

Sales in the past couple of months have been fueled by customers needing to replace their vehicles after the hurricanes affecting Texas, Florida and other states.

“We are expecting a lot of that demand to be satisfied at this point,” Fleming said.

Edmunds’ analysts expect a Black Friday “halo effect” to boost sales.

“Usually, the first two weeks of the month are slow, especially before a holiday,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds executive director of industry analysis in a statement. “But this year retailers pushed the Black Friday bargains throughout the entire month of November, and it put 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’ analysts expect GM to post a 1.8 percent increase in sales, Ford a 4.9 percent increase and Honda a 12 percent increase. Fiat Chrysler’s sales are expected to decline 2 percent.

Kelley Blue Book analysts predict GM will post a 1 percent decline in sales year over year, Ford sales are expected to increase by 1.8 percent, and Honda is expected to see a 3.3 percent increase. Fiat Chrysler’s sales are expected to be down 5.5 percent.

Segment wise, which only Kelley Blue Book provides projections for, the compact sport-utility vehicle is expected to see a 7.6 percent increase in sales year over year, while the mid-size car segment will continue to struggle with a decrease of 13.1 percent expected. The compact SUV is the top-selling segment followed by full-size trucks, mid-size sport-utility vehicles, compact cars and mid-size cars.

“That’s where all the demand is going,” Fleming said of the compact SUV segment. “People are getting out of mid-size cars and going there. The whole segment is benefitting from the popularity of it. Everyone wants a small SUV right now.”

While sales for the whole year aren’t expected to surpass last year’s record of 17.5 million, they are expected to be more 17 million.

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