Honda, Toyota hit by sedan disinterest, too: Sales fall in November

Honda sales off 9.5 percent as even the popular Civic slumps

Sales of new Toyota and Honda cars in the United States both fell in November, the Japanese carmakers said on Monday, pointing to an overall dip in U.S. industry numbers last month in the face of rising car prices, tariffs and interest rates.

Toyota sales, which rose 1.4 percent in October, fell about 0.6 percent to 190,423 units last month, due to decreased demand for its Prius and Camry sedans, the company said.

Honda said its sales fell 9.5 percent to 120,534 vehicles, more than doubling the pace of decline as it was hurt by lower volumes on passenger cars like its Civic.

Sales at Honda's Acura brand were up 10.5 percent, however, both for its sedans and its SUVs such as the new RDX.

Overall U.S. car sales dipped 2 percent last year from a record high of 17.55 million in 2016 and are expected to decline further in 2018. However, a fall in November would be the first since 2009 in a month when dealers traditionally offer deals to clear stock ahead of the new year.

Ford reported its sales were down 6.9 percent compared with November 2017. Even its truck sales were off by 2.3 percent, though sales of the F-150 exceeded 70,000 for the ninth straight month. And as Ford's product mix becomes more heavily weighted toward trucks and SUVs, its average transaction price rose $780 to $33,400.

BMW reported sales up 1 percent in November, and up 1.9 percent for the year to date.

Subaru continues on a roll, with sales up 9.8 percent in November, 5.9 percent for the year to date.

Kia sales were up 1.8 percent in November.

Volkswagen sales were down 8 percent for November but are up 4 percent for the year to date.

Nissan had a bad month, with the arrest of Chairman Carlos Ghosn and U.S. sales down 18.7 percent for the group, and down 21.6 percent for the Nissan brand. Infiniti was up 8 percent.

Industry watchers have said that interest in replacing older cars is finally waning after nearly a decade of robust new car sales while rising interest rates and trade tariffs have pushed up the costs of buying.

There was progress in talks with China this weekend, but President Donald Trump has still threatened to impose a broad 25 percent tax on cars imported into the United States, potentially inflating prices further.

To make up for slowing sales, automakers have cut jobs and curtailed production of traditional passenger cars, while gradually moving to larger SUVs and trucks, which tend to be more profitable.

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