DETROIT — Black Friday deals and postelection confidence helped pull November U.S. auto sales out of their recent slump — and increased the chances that 2016 could set a record for new vehicle sales.
Total U.S. sales rose 4
Toyota Division General Manager Bill Fay said November sales were so good that the industry may even break last year's sales record of 17.47 million.
"I think it will be right around last year's record, maybe a little bit less," Fay told The Associated Press in an interview in Detroit. "But I think either way everybody will sign up for a lifetime of this."
General Motors' sales jumped 10
Fiat Chrysler bucked the trend, with sales falling 14
Higher incentives enticed buyers who sat out much of the fall. July was the last month that sales increased year-over-year.
The average discount per vehicle last month was near $4,000, up by $600 from the same month last year, said Jeff Schuster, senior
Automakers and dealers have always flooded the airwaves with holiday ads in December. But Black Friday is taking on increasing importance. Since 2013, sales during the weekend after Thanksgiving have been nearly double the sales during a typical November weekend, according to car shopping site Edmunds.com. Prior to 2013, automakers only saw a 39
"Dealers and automakers clearly have found a way in recent years to break through the Black Friday clutter and connect with more car shoppers," said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' senior director of industry analysis. An offer for $10,000 bonus cash on a 2016 Kia K900 was among the Black Friday deals Edmunds cited.
Because automakers seem to be willing to discount, Schuster said the industry probably will have a strong December.
"I don't think they're necessarily going to pull back with all the holiday deals in December," Schuster said.
Consumers also had a newfound confidence after the tumultuous election. U.S. consumer confidence reached its highest point in nine years in November, according to the Conference Board. That's a crucial factor for purchasing big-ticket items.
Toyota is expecting at least three more years of solid U.S. sales, said Bob Carter, senior
For November, automakers said:
— General Motors Co.'s sales rose 10
— Toyota Motor Corp.'s sales rose 4
— Ford Motor Co.'s sales rose 5
— Fiat Chrysler's sales fell 14
— Honda Motor Co.'s sales rose 6.5
— Nissan Motor Co.'s sales were up 7.5
— Hyundai Motor Co.'s sales rose 4