November sales: Toyota and Nissan lead Asian pack in the US image

The two automakers led U.S. sales gains for Asian automakers, topping analysts’ estimates with stronger-than-expected November deliveries that were buoyed by Black Friday shoppers.

Sales climbed 10 % from a year earlier for Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, and 11 % for Nissan, after six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had estimated average gains of 6.5 % and 3.1 %, respectively. Japanese and South Korean carmakers reported a combined increase of 7.9 %.

“Black Friday weekend, the last weekend of the month, was huge for the entire industry,” said Fred Diaz, Nissan’s U.S. senior vice president for sales and marketing. “Consumers in general know that Black Friday isn’t just a good time to buy gifts, but vehicles for their own personal use.”

Combined U.S. sales for Asia-based automakers totaled 565,941 cars and light trucks last month. Toyota’s November results included a 5.6 % increase for Camry cars and a surge of more than fourfold for Avalon sedans. The Toyota City, Japan-based company was also aided by gains for RAV4 and Highlander crossovers and Lexus IS sport sedans. Combined sales of Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles rose to 178,044 from 161,695 a year earlier, the company said.

“This was the best month of the year, so I would say based on experiences in November there’s probably still some positive momentum in the market,” Bill Fay, group vice president for U.S. Toyota sales, said on a conference call yesterday.

Honda Motor Co. was the only major automaker to post a decline in November, as deliveries shrank 0.1 percent. The average analyst estimate was for a 0.5 percent gain. Combined Honda and Acura sales fell to 116,507 from 115,580 a year earlier, the company said.

Nissan’s better-than-expected sales came as deliveries increased for Altima sedans, Sentra small cars, Leaf electric hatchbacks and Frontier pickups, according to the Yokohama, Japan-based company’s statement. The Nissan and Infiniti brands sold 106,528 vehicles last month, up from 96,197 a year earlier.

Hyundai Motor Co. and affiliate Kia Motors Corp.’s combined deliveries rose 7.3 % to 101,416, outpacing analysts’ average estimate of a 1.9 % drop. The Seoul-based carmakers entered the month having trailed the industrywide sales pace each month since September 2012.

Via Bloomberg