Auto sales in the United States are on track to surge year-on-year between 4 and 7 percent in November 2013, according to analysts, as after-Thanksgiving deals are seen to more than offset a slow sales start to the month. Many analysts are expecting the industry's seasonally adjusted annualized light-vehicle selling rate to achieve its highest level since August 2013, with LMC Automotive projecting it to top 16.1 million.
The rate seasonally adjusted annualized light-vehicle selling rate (SAAR) in October 2013 and November 2012 was 15.2 million and 15.3 million, respectively. Edmunds.com sees November's SAAR to be 15.7 million, and Kelley Blue Book pegs it at 15.6 million. Richard Kwas, an analyst with Wells Fargo, expects the November SAAR to be between 15.7 million and 15.9 million.
Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst for KBB, told Automotive News, that the November SAAR is really dependent on what happens in the last week of the month, during which a strong push is typically experienced. Gutierrez said that the last week of November is among “the best sales days of the year." General Motors spearheaded the Black Friday sales frenzy by commencing a promotion offering supplier pricing on many Chevrolet, Buick and GMC models from Nov. 20 through Dec. 2.
KBB expects GM to log a 12-percent gain in November, which is the highest among the eight largest carmakers. Edmunds, meanwhile, sees sales surges of 8 percent for GM and 10 percent for Chrysler Group. Edmunds and KBB, however, expect American Honda, Hyundai-Kia and Volkswagen Group of America to lose market shares in the US.
While the sales forecast for November 2013 seems relatively weak compared to the double-digit increases seen in July, August and October, it is very much due to the fact that sales in November 2012 were unusually strong -- when residents of the northeastern US bought new vehicles after receiving insurance checks following Hurricane Sandy.
Strong sales of pickup trucks and SUVs allowed both General Motors and Chrysler Group to record solid financial performance in the third quarter of 2013. For the bottom line, GM posted a drop in net income in the third quarter of the year, from $1.85 billion in 2012 to $1.70 billion in 2012. GM logged a 15-percent surge in pretax profit in the quarter to $2.64 billion. This excludes several non-recurring items that trimmed about $900 million from the bottom line. GM logged $38.98 billion in net revenues in the third quarter of 2013, compared to $37.58 billion in the same period in 2012.
Chrysler Group, on the other hand, posted a 22-percent surge in third quarter net income, to $464 million, compared to $381 million in the third quarter of 2012. Its net revenues for the third quarter of 2013 were at $17.56 billion, with a gross margin of $2.68 billion.