November couldn’t have posed a more challenging month for automakers this side of another economic collapse. The Big 3 were under scrutiny from politicians during election season, and that only intensified as Republican candidate Mitt Romney told the American public that Jeep was moving its entire production to China. Apparently, the American public didn’t buy it, as Romney lost his bid to incumbent Barack Obama. But Jeep sales did take a hit, if only slightly, a possible result of the negative campaigning.
Meanwhile, the Chevrolet Volt took in its best November ever, with 1,519 sold—a 33.4-percent increase. Yet, that was less than half of what Chevrolet sold in October. Were Chevrolet’s unusually high incentives on the Volt reduced? Was it from the election season? Romney campaigned against cars harder than he campaigned against his opponent, which put some irony into the mix, as his father was the former president of American Motors. Only Jeep survives from the former automaker, as AMC was largely dissolved when Chrysler purchased it in the late 1980s.
Additionally, Hyundai and Kia met controversy when they were forced to adjust some of their fuel economy numbers downward. But, with the exception of a few models, none suffered dramatically. The Korean giants march on towards ever-higher record sales for yet another month.
With those and a few other exceptions, the auto industry found itself with a dramatic increase in overall sales, partly from clearing out old models (2012 Honda Civic) and partly from introducing all-new ones (2013 Nissan Pathfinder). Here are the big numbers that tell the story.
|Brand/Company||November 2012||November 2011||Increase/Decrease||Daily Sales Rate*