Dec. 3 - Black Friday deals helped to lift November auto sales - with a surge in truck sales pushing the industry to its second best month this year. Bobbi Rebell reports.
U.S. auto sales powered ahead in November, making it the second best month so far this year- thanks in large part to a big push on Black Friday: Edmunds.com's Jessica Caldwell: SOUNDBITE: JESSICA CALDWELL, SENIOR ANALYST, EDMUNDS.COM (ENGLISH) SAYING: "If you looked at November sales, it was pacing along fairly decently but when you add in the Thanksgiving holiday including Black Friday, obviously that really put sales over and if you look at the total number of sales it definitely beat expectations that were out there because Black Friday was so strong." At all the Detroit automakers it was big trucks that were the biggest sellers- gas prices remain low- and financing options are still attractive. General Motors said demand was strong across the board- it has its best November in six years. Ford sales were driven by its F-series trucks, which outsold all of the company's passenger cars combined. And Chrysler sales popped on the debut of its new Jeep Cherokee. Jeep sales alone jumped 30 percent. But to get to those numbers- there was some aggressive discounting. Incentives averaged $2500 per vehicle and more per vehicle according to TrueCar.com And as the post-recession pent up demand fades- automakers are going to have to walk a fine line in managing their inventory. GM's for example have been on the rise. SOUNDBITE: JESSICA CALDWELL, SENIOR ANALYST, EDMUNDS.COM (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think inventory is going to be a concern. I think we are going to have a really strong December which is certainly going to help but I think the inventory story is really lumpy. I think it's big in some places and then for other auto makers and other car lines they can't make enough so it really is trying to develop the right strategy to be where consumers want to be." While they were still a fraction of total industry sales- popular electric and hybrid cars had a good month too- driven by aggressive price cuts and incentives.