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USA November 2020: Calendar quirk, tight supply send market down -12%, Toyota stable

The Tundra (+16.4%) helps Toyota return stable U.S. sales in November.

The U.S. new light vehicle market is estimated by TrueCar and ALG to drop -12% year-on-year in November to roughly 1.240.200 units, leading to a year-to-date tally down -16.3% to around 12.994.200. However there were 3 fewer selling days this month compared to November 2019 (23 vs. 26) so the “real” fall is closer to -3.5%, while retail sales are only off -0.7%, a really strong performance given the current Covid-19 context in the U.S.. The seasonally adjusted, annualised rate of sales (SAAR) stands at 15.88 million according to Motor Intelligence, falling below 16 million for the first time since August, and down -6.6% from 17 million in November 2019.

Light trucks (mainly pickups and SUVs) account for over 78% share in November vs. 75% a year ago. Supply remains limited due to production disruptions linked to the pandemic, and as a result the average new-vehicle retail transaction price is up to a record $37.099 according to J.D. Power and LMC, 0.9% higher than the previous transaction price record hit just last month. According to ALG, average incentives are down -6.9% on last month but up 0.6% year-on-year, with Daimler ($5.161), BMW ($5.114), GM ($4.803) and Ford ($4.737) the most generous and Subaru ($1.762), Honda ($2.397) and Hyundai ($2.535) at the other end of the scale.

The good news of the month is the return of Ford in the monthly reports: our October article has now been updated with the complete list of Ford and Lincoln models. It’s not a good month to be back though, with Ford Motor Co down -21.1% year-on-year, the second largest drop among carmakers reporting monthly below American Honda (-23.4%). Hyundai-Kia (-8.2%) keeps its fall below the market rate and Toyota Motor (-1%) is almost immobile, a great feat. Brand-wise, Toyota is, this time, immobile (-0.02%), distancing Ford (-21%) and Honda (-24.1%). Volvo (+20.3%) is the only gainer among the 12 brands reporting monthly, with Kia (-5.2%), Lexus (-6.8%) and Hyundai (-9%) keeping their losses in the single-digits.

With the addition of Ford and Lincoln models, our monthly list grows to 120 models. The best-selling vehicles in the list aren’t doing too well: the Ford F-Series (-27.2%), Toyota RAV4 (-9.9%) and Honda CR-V (-24.6%) all skid down but we have a surprisingly good performance by the Toyota Camry (+14.7%). The Volvo XC60 (+45.3%), Hyundai Kona (+42.6%), Sonata (+39%), Kia Telluride (+31.8%), Subaru Crosstrek (+23.7%), Hyundai Palisade (+22.2.%), Ford Explorer (+21.9%), Toyota Tundra (+16.4%) and Ford Transit (+13.9%) post the largest gains among the 50 best-selling models with monthly data. Note: they are all light trucks. This month we welcome the Genesis GV80 (58 sales) and Ford Bronco Sport (22 sales).

Previous month: USA October 2020: Kia (+12.2%), Subaru (+10.6%) set new records, market growth thins to +1%

One year ago: USA November 2019: Honda (+12.2%), Kia (+12%), Mercedes (+13.3%) and record incentives help market edge up 1%

Full November 2020 data for 7 groups, 12 brands and 120 models below.

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