Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) released its November U.S. sales data Thursday morning and absolutely crushed growth forecasts. Overall the company’s volume sales rose 5% year over year, pushing year-to-date unit sales to 2.37 million, essentially flat year over year.
Ford maintained its customary lead in pickup truck sales with November sales of 72,089 units, up 10.6% from 65,192 in October of 2015. In October, Ford sold 65,542 F-Series trucks, following a September sales total of 67,809. For the first 11 months of 2016, F-Series pickup sales are up 5.5% year over year at 733,287 units.
General Motors Co.’s (NYSE: GM) Chevy Silverado sales experienced a sales increase of just 0.6% year over year to 45,280 units in November, while GMC Sierra sales jumped 14.4% to 18,900 units.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.’s (NYSE: FCAU) Ram pickup sales increased 8% year over year in November to 36,885 units. Year to date, Ram has sold 441,862 units, also up 8% year over year.
November buyer incentives remained high, but were a bit lower than October incentives: down 0.7% at FCA and 3.4% at GM. TrueCar estimated that Ford boosted its November incentives by 23% year over year, although that was 1.9% below the October 2016 incentives. Ford reported this morning that overall average incentives rose by $1,000 per vehicle year over year in November.
Mike Jackson, CEO of AutoNation, told Automotive News:
I still think we’re in a plateau. There is a point of diminishing returns when whatever you give at the front end in incentives comes off residual values at the back end. We’re right at that tipping point.
Analyst Jessica Caldwell at Edmunds said:
November sales have the industry well-positioned to set a new annual sales record this year, but a new record is far from guaranteed. Expect to see a flood of ads for holiday season sales events in the coming days and weeks, especially for luxury brands, trucks and SUVs. If we see any year-over-year lifts in these segments in December, then it’s a good bet that the industry will top last year’s record-high sales.
The other full-size pickups on offer in the United States are the Tundra from Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) and the Nissan Titan. Tundra’s sales totaled 9,578 in November (up 11.5% year over year). The Titan sold 3,329 units in October, up a whopping 363% compared with November 2015.
Toyota’s midsize Tacoma pickup sold 15,531 units in November, holding its place as the leader in this space. Sales of GM’s midsize Colorado pickup rose 39.1% to 8,669 units, and sales of the GMC Canyon rose 52.5% to 3,410 in November. Nissan’s midsize Frontier pickup sold 5,105 units in November, up just 0.1% year over year. Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC) sold 3,464 units of its all-new Ridgeline midsize pickup, up from just three in November of 2015.
In the full-size pickup segment, November sales of 173,154 vehicles from the Detroit Three pencils out to a Ford market share of 41.6% (a month-over-month gain of 4.0 points). GM’s share came in at 26.1% for the Chevy Silverado (up 2.4 points) and 10.9% (up 2.3 points) for the GMC Sierra. Ram’s market share totaled 21.3% (down 3.9 points).