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.


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  • 144 Comments
      Judyz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Your new chart doesn't work on the Autoblog ipad app. It doesn't scroll. The Civic had a huge clearout sale so not that suprising. I still think Honda made the right move. Longterm a lot of people buy Civics based on great word of mouth, previous experience and reputation. Few do the research. Most 2012 Civic owners didn't drive it back to back against the Cruze, Focus and Elantra. When they eventually do end up in a friend's they will notice the difference. Eventually that builds negative brand equity. By making the quick update Honda has earned respect from both reviewers and customers and a virtual lock on customer sales for the Civic. Not to mention all the good press. 2013 will be the best year ever for the Civic.
      Yang Xi Gua
      • 2 Years Ago
      Fusion sales down 24%, Accord sales up 83%. Last year Fusion outsold Accord, now the tables have turned.
        ZenDriver
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Yang Xi Gua
        Once again, just for you, Yangboy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMALLCSk8k0 You earned it. Again.
        Mike
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Yang Xi Gua
        I went and test drove a Fusion here in So Cal and they only had 3 on the lot. The dealer said they can't get them fast enough to build up inventory yet.
        Dave
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Yang Xi Gua
        My local Ford Dealer had 1 fusion on hand. The rest were sold. The Honda dealer down the street had plenty of Accords though.
          zoom_zoom_zoom
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dave
          Interesting. "Automobilenews" just did a story today about Honda not being about to build enough Accords.
          gtv4rudy
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dave
          I am looking at both the new sexy Fusion and the new conservative looking Accord. My heart says go for the Fusion, my brain says go for the Accord. Ahhhhhhhhh what to do...
        lostboyz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Yang Xi Gua
        This happens at the beginning of every new model year, pay more attention
      Yang Xi Gua
      • 2 Years Ago
      Fewer than 5,000 Dodge Darts sold. Over 30,000 Honda Civics sold! And it gets better with 2013 Civic!
        merlot066
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Yang Xi Gua
        Are you seriously bragging about the fact that Honda had to dump thousands of Civics at any cost to clear their lots for the emergency refresh 2013 model because the 2012 was so bad? Are you bragging about that? http://www.autoblog.com/2012/10/23/honda-warns-dealers-to-clear-out-2012-civic-stock-2013-emergenc/
          Becky Sue
          • 2 Years Ago
          @merlot066
          You shouldn't be talking with your eco booms
          merlot066
          • 2 Years Ago
          @merlot066
          I'm sorry, did you forget about the three recalls that the "boring but reliable" 2012 Civic has had? One for improper O-rings that can cause fuel to spray everywhere and start A FIRE. Another for *catastrophic driveshaft failure* that can cause complete loss of control. And another for incorrect steering shafts that don't correctly absorb crash energy. But let's only focus on the one bad engine that Ford has put out in the last 10 years.
          Becky Sue
          • 2 Years Ago
          @merlot066
          Come on bro, Ford is now on their 4th recall for the Fire Escape in less than six months. Ford's issues go well beyond their engines.. Transmissions, MFT, Cruise Control Switches, steering (especially the new Explorer) etc. Regardless, this is pointless, your mother could be killed driving a Ford but you would still defend them.
          merlot066
          • 2 Years Ago
          @merlot066
          Yes, I've pointed out many times that Ford had a very hard time getting rid of 2011 Focuses in anticipation of the 2012 model. The 45% number was the fleet number which includes commercial sales (companies that buy Focuses as company cars, which is a lot of companies) as well as government sales (which is again, a lot of sales). That number was for 2011, it's almost 2013. Get some more recent numbers.
        MAX
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Yang Xi Gua
        Dart has the highest transaction price of any non luxury compact, Civic one of the highest incentives. They really don't don't even compete with each other as the bigger more luxurious Dart is aimed more at enthusiasts, the appliancelike Civic at teenaged girls like Honda's current ad campaign..
          Becky Sue
          • 2 Years Ago
          @MAX
          Max, the Dart got beat by nearly every vehicle in its class to include the new Sentra. Get over it. Transaction prices mean very little when the Civic sold 25,000 more cars! hahaha Go Fiat
        F150Soul
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Yang Xi Gua
        Becky Sue get back to the kitchen...
          Becky Sue
          • 2 Years Ago
          @F150Soul
          I'd like to see you make me wussy Ford boy!
        Jeremy Pennini
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Yang Xi Gua
        The Dart is still a really new car. It's going to take time for sales to pickup.
      Yang Xi Gua
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why are Fusion and Malibu selling so bad whereas the 8 years old Impala is selling very well.
        zoom_zoom_zoom
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Yang Xi Gua
        Rental car companies love the Impala more than the other "domestics".
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Hazdaz
        • 2 Years Ago
        Only 2 of those vehicles are particularly high-volume. So no, I don't see them "shake up" the market at all. I don't think they will drop, but I don't expect massive gains at all, either.
          Yang Xi Gua
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Hazdaz
          The new Tundra might beat the current Ram in sales, since the Ram won't be redesigned till 2015 for the 2016 model year.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Hazdaz
          [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Hazdaz
          [blocked]
        Zoom
        • 2 Years Ago
        You're right. That's why you're at -7. People here are like the GOP - they hate numbers.
      MAX
      • 2 Years Ago
      JapanINC is putting a lot of $ on the hoods of their appliances especially with the the lower transaction prices they have vs Detroit3 cars.
        Becky Sue
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MAX
        I know GM, Toyota, and Nissan all spent extra incentives to those victims of Hurricane Sandy. God forbid they do the right thing! You are an idiot Max.
        Get a life
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MAX
        Max you are dumb! Toyota and Nissan are rolling out with new trucks too. You make up the bull$**** excuses when the facts are black and white. Toyota incentives are always less than the Detroit 3. BTW the incentives are across the board per manufacture. GM and Toyota, Nissan, and Ford spent a lot of money for Hurricane Sandy victims. You are a delusional POS.
        Doug Utz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MAX
        Subaru spends less on incentives per vehicle than any other mainstream manufacturer - far less than Toyota or Honda or the rest of "JapanINC" as you put it. Good product with high demand sells without resorting to "fire sale" tactics. Proof is in their sales results.
          MAX
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Doug Utz
          Subaru is just an even uglier Toyota JapanINC product for people with personality disorders. Support state socialism, buy Japanese or Korean!
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Doug Utz
          [blocked]
          MAX
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Doug Utz
          So all those incentives on Civics mean it's not a good product? There are no new Toyota or Nissan trucks coming for quite a while. Alfa Romeo will be here sooner!
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Doug Utz
          [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Doug Utz
          [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Yang Xi Gua
        • 2 Years Ago
        Fusion does not look gorgeous to me. Its headlights look small and angry.
      Yang Xi Gua
      • 2 Years Ago
      RAV4 sales up over 40%. Just imagine what the 2013 RAV4 can do to its segment!
      Yang Xi Gua
      • 2 Years Ago
      Avalanche is dead. Expedition, Yukon, Tahoe, Flex are all headed for the grave. They are too big and big vehicles don't sell anymore.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
      Yang Xi Gua
      • 2 Years Ago
      Volvo outsells Lincoln. Ford should kill Lincoln and become a 1 brand company.
        oRenj9
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Yang Xi Gua
        I disagree, they need to expand Lincoln and make them the American icon for luxury cars. If Ford could use existing platforms as the foundations for a significant lineup unique Lincoln cars, then they would be on track to rake in massive profit margins. As it stands now, Lincoln just offers rebadged Fords marketed towards old people who want to feel hip. They need to double their product offerings in the next few years, make nearly every offering unique, and bring their audience for their marketing strategies down by about 30 years.
        Boon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Yang Xi Gua
        Lincoln is as good as dead in the car buying publics mind
      Yang Xi Gua
      • 2 Years Ago
      Time for FIAT to take over Chrysler completo and fire the UAW woohoo that would leave only GM and Ford unionized.
        MAX
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Yang Xi Gua
        Actually CHRYSLER IS TAKING OVER FIAT! You would know that if you paid attention.
          Spies1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @MAX
          LOL, Chrysler taking over FIAT. That's funny.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Yang Xi Gua
        You are really ignorant. Fiat's own workers are all unionized as well.
          Yang Xi Gua
          • 2 Years Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          So are Japanese and Korean automakers. They unionize in their own countries, not in North America.
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