U.S. auto sales approaching two-year high image

Car sales in the United States increased 14 percent in November, boosted by important gains at Chrysler Group and Volkswagen of America.

Chrysler posted a 45 percent sales increase, while VW recorded a 41 percent rise. Other automakers with double-digit gains were Hyundai at 22 percent, Nissan at 19 percent, and Ford at 13 percent. General Motors and Toyota posted 7 percent gains each.

A particularly disappointing result was recorded by Honda, which saw its sales fall 6 percent in the aftermath of the March earthquake in Japan and the floods in Thailand which caused disruptions in parts supply. Honda sales have been down every month since May, and the Japanese automaker has seen its U.S. market share drop from almost 11 percent to just over 8 percent in the same period. For Toyota however, November sales gain was the first since April.

Analysts’ expectations have been exceeded by sales, which are now at an annualized rate of 13.6 million, the highest since August 2009 when the U.S. government was financing the „cash for clunkers” incentive program.

November was also the third straight month that annualized car sales have topped 13 million mark. Auto sales have been on the rise since June, even though unemployment was still high and housing markets weak.