Ford, GM See Drop in Sales

Toyota, Honda See Best Novembers Ever

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DETROIT ( -- November new-vehicle sales fell for both Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. over the same month the prior year. Even so, for GM sales actually rose 14% over a dismal October.

In stark comparison to Toyota Motor Co. and American Honda Motor Co., which showed strong sales gains in November, Ford sales fell 15% for the month versus the prior year. At GM, sales slid 11% in November, yet that represented a 14% rise over its October's meager tally of 257,623 units.

"November was stronger than October for GM and the industry, but certainly not a barn burner," said Mark LaNeve, VP-sales, service and marketing for the automaker in North America.

GM and Ford weren't alone: Nissan North America said it sold 77,212 units, or 7.8% fewer Nissan and Infiniti vehicles in November than a year ago. Infinti sales dropped 14% and the Nissan brand was down 6.7%. Mercedes-Benz USA reported 18,284 units sold in November, 548 fewer than a year ago, when it posted its second-best November.

Chrysler Group was also down 7% over the prior November, with 159,898 new cars and trucks sold. Yet the Chrysler 300 sedan had its best month ever, selling 12,647 units.

Gary Dilts, group senior VP-sales at the automaker, said Chrysler Group's "Miles of Freedom" offer (free gasoline for two years), which was introduced Nov. 17, as well as other incentives "increased showroom traffic and we expect that to continue through year-end. We are looking forward to a strong December and finishing the year on a high note."

There was also a bright spot at Ford, which despite a sales slide in total vehicles in November, saw a 34% jump in combined sales of three new models, the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln Zephyr, from October to November.

Toyota sales climbed 5.6% to 156,665 vehicles, the best ever November performance for its Toyota, Lexus and Scion models. Volkswagen of America's VW brand was up 4.8% and sibling Audi posted the best November in its history, selling 7,909 vehicles, up 15% from a year ago.

Honda's tally was also its best ever for November, with Honda and Acura vehicle brand sales up 6.4% compared to last November. Mazda North American Operations reported a 1% jump in November-over-November sales to 17,817 vehicles.

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