Here’s Why Sandy May Have Been Great for Car Sales

Most major car manufacturers have reported sales figures for November, and it turns out that the United States car market has some cause for celebration. Partially fueled by consumers replacing vehicles damaged and destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, car sales were up across the board, with some manufacturers setting new monthly records.

Ford (NYSE:F) is celebrating a 12-year high in small car sales and the best November for the F-Series since 2005. Small car sales were up 76 percent year-over-year to 26,848 vehicles. The company’s C-Max lineup continues to perform well, with hybrid sales climbing 52 percent month-over-month to 4,848 units, making November the company’s best-ever month for electric vehicle sales.

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The Ford F-Series posted its 16th consecutive year-over-year sales increase, climbing 18 percent to 56,299 units. Total vehicle sales were up 6 percent to 177,673 vehicles in November. The company also announced an 11-percent increase in first-quarter 2013 production, targeting 750,000 vehicles.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) posted its highest U.S. November sales since 2007. Deliveries were up 3 percent year-over-year to 186,505, with passenger car sales at Cadillac up a whopping 77 percent. Cadillac was GM’s fastest growing brand for the month, posting a 30.3-percent total sales increase, followed by Buick with a 22.1-percent sales increase. Chevrolet sales were flat year-over-year.

Shares of GM were off slightly in mid-day trading on Monday as sales missed the analyst consensus estimate of about 7.5 percent growth.

Toyota Motors (NYSE:TM) issued a sales preview showing a 17.2-percent gain in its monthly sales rate for the U.S. This growth was offset by a 25-percent year-over-year decline in sales volume in China for the month. Sales in the country are still being affected by a territory dispute between China and Japan. November’s decrease follows a 44-percent decrease in October and a nearly 50-percent decrease in September.

Chrysler Group beat out the competition and reported a tremendous 14-percent year-over-year increase in November sales, its best November in five years. FIAT brand sales grew the most at 123 percent while Dodge brand sales grew 32 percent. Chrysler brand sales were up just 1 percent.

Hyundai broke its November sales record with an 8 percent year-over-year sales growth and a total of 53,487 vehicles sold in the U.S.

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