American November sales up from 2021 but down from October: Cox Automotive Forecast

The most recent Cox Automotive forecast predicts that November U.S. auto sales, when confirmed later this week, are “expected to show no real surprises”, with both sales volume and pace up from November 2021 but down modestly from last month.

“Vehicle shoppers may not have been gobbling up new cars and trucks this Thanksgiving, but the improving supply situation is likely something dealers and consumers alike are thankful for this year,” said Charles Chesbrough, senior economist at Cox Automotive.

According to the forecast released Monday, November U.S. new-vehicle sales volume is expected to reach 1.13 million an increase of 10.8%, or nearly 110,000 units, compared to last year’s extremely supply-constrained market. The sales pace, or seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), is forecast to finish near 14.3 million, up from last year’s 13.1 million pace but a step backward from October’s 14.9 million level.

The forecast notes that new-vehicle inventory differs greatly based on brand and vehicle, meaning that the numbers don’t necessarily reflect consumer demand per sector. In November 2021, the new-vehicle market was suffering from a significant lack of inventory on dealer lots across the country. This year, though, the supply situation has modestly improved, and inventory levels are much higher across the country. “However, not all brands and vehicles are in the same position,” said the report.

“Some products, particularly the Asian best sellers, continue to have extremely tight supply. Order-and-wait is likely the only way to purchase one,” said Chesbrough. “Other products, such as domestic pickup trucks, have much greater availability. In general, incentives have been significantly lower during the past two years, but that situation is beginning to change for some brands as the post-COVID supply chain recovery continues.”

November has 25 selling days, one less than October but one more than November 2021.

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