Pent-Up Demand Lifts Many Automakers

Practically nothing good came of Superstorm Sandy, which made landfall in late October. Along with destroying infrastructure and throwing into turmoil the lives of countless people who never thought their home would go toe-to-toe with a hurricane, Sandy also suppressed auto sales that month. But what Sandy taketh away, pent-up demand for the freedom of personal transport giveth back, as evidenced by the strong month of automobile sales in the US during the month of November.

While low-volume brands like Fiat, Porsche and Smart lead our list, they're followed closely by a number or brands with a bit bigger audience that performed remarkably well. Subaru reported sales up nearly 60 percent to 28,206 units, while BMW saw a 45-percent to 21,213 units. No brand, however, can match the jump in raw number of vehicles sold that Honda reported, the Japanese automaker seeing sales rise 41 percent 104,224 units, a lift of 30,208 units compared to November 2011. Dodge (+32 percent) and Volkswagen (+29 percent) also reported healthy gains, while Toyota added 20,474 sales for an increase of 17 percent.

As for the domestics, Chrysler Group reported a respectable 14 percent rise in sales thanks to the performance of Dodge, which more than offset a 3-percent decline at Jeep. Ford Motor Company posted a 6.5-percent increase, while General Motors reported a 3.4-percent increase thanks to strong numbers from Buick (+22 percent) and Cadillac (+30 percent).

Lastly, we noticed one stand-out performer in this month's sales numbers, and that's the 2012 Honda Civic. Sales of the Civic were up 75.5 percent to 30,075 units, a number that beat the very-difficult-to-dethrone best-selling Camry's 28,765 units. We point this out because reception of the redesigned 2012 Civic was initially less-than-stellar, which led Honda to hastily revise the 2013 model with mechanical and styling tweaks that recent sales suggest, perhaps, weren't necessary, at least this soon.



*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 25 selling days in November 2012 and 25 selling days in November 2011, so there is no difference between the change in monthly sales volume and the change in average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company. Also, brands are combined and reported as companies only if their sales figures are released jointly.