Black Friday deals likely helped lift U.S. auto sales at most automakers in November, as a bumper crop of old model-year vehicles spurred carmakers to offer record discounts. But it wasn’t enough to spare troubled Nissan Motor Co. from a 15.9% decline.
Total light-vehicle sales in the country probably ran at an adjusted annualized rate of 17.5 million in November, a touch better than 17.4 million a year ago, according to a projection by LMC Automotive and J.D. Power. The market researchers expect industry deliveries to drop to 16.8 million in 2020, from about 17.1 million this year.
It’s not just sales that rose in November, so did prices, which averaged $35,623, up 1.3% from a year ago, according to researcher TrueCar. BMW AG, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Hyundai Motor Co. all saw gains in average transaction prices, driven by popular new models.
To move older model year vehicles from dealer lots, automakers boosted incentive spending by an estimated 12% to $4,538 per vehicle in November, J.D. Power estimated last week, exceeding $4,500 for the first time. Those discounts, plus the later date for this year’s Thanksgiving holiday, was expected to spur some of the best Black Friday deals in years, according to car-shopping researcher Edmunds.
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