November Sales Surge 17 Percent At Fiat Chrysler

For the seventh straight month, Ford sold more than 60,000 F-series pickups. Volume rose 7 percent at the Ford division and 17 percent at Lincoln. It was the second consecutive month of double-digit gains at Lincoln after a string of mostly flat sales.

Ford said it also plans to build 770,000 vehicles in the first quarter of 2014 in North America, a drop of 2 percent from 784,000 vehicles produced in the first quarter of 2013.

A Ford spokesman today cited the need to "match production with demand" for the decline in output.

Ford started November with a 90-days supply of light vehicles, compared with a 72-days supply a year ago. The company said previously it plans to temporarily idle U.S. plants that build the Ford Fusion, Focus and C-Max to trim stockpiles.

Toyota said its U.S. deliveries increased last month by 10 percent to 178,044 units.

At American Honda, sales dropped 2 percent at the Honda division and increased 19 percent at Acura.

"With our second-best-ever November sales, we likely extended our retail sales lead despite very aggressive market actions by competitors in key high volume segments," John Mendel, executive vice president of sales at American Honda, said in a statement. "And we're upping the ante as we approach the close of the year with a significantly updated 2014 Civic going on sale in just a few days."

Healthy demand for the Ram pickup and new Jeep Cherokee propelled Chrysler Group to a 16 percent increase, its 44th consecutive monthly advance.

Cherokee's hot start

After several launch delays, Cherokee deliveries totaled nearly 10,200 units in its first full month on the market.

Jeep, Chrysler Group's second-biggest division after Dodge, has been largely missing from the mid-sized SUV market since the Liberty was discontinued in August 2012.

Ram pickup demand jumped 22 percent to 29,635, its best November since 2003.

Sales rose 30 percent at Jeep, 25 percent at the Ram brand, 12 percent at the Chrysler brand, and 4 percent at Dodge. Deliveries slipped 15 percent at Fiat.

Overall, Chrysler's car sales fell 7 percent and light-truck demand jumped 26 percent.

"Our launch emphasis on Jeep Cherokee quality is now being rewarded with brisk sales," Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales operations for Chrysler Group, said in a statement.

Hyundai set a November sales record with volume of 56,005 units, a gain of 5 percent. John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, said in a Twitter posting earlier today the gains were led by the Santa Fe, Accent, and Elantra.

Nissan North America sold 106,528 light vehicles last month, a record for November, and up 11 percent from a year earlier.

New and redesigned models spurred a 37 percent rise in sales at Jaguar Land Rover last month.

Land Rover, benefiting from the revamped flagship Range Rover and Evoque, set a November sales record of 4,601 units. Jaguar volume increased 103 percent to 1,446 units.

Andy Goss, group sales operations director for Jaguar and Land Rover, said he expects strong year-end sales to set annual U.S. benchmarks for both brands.

VW skips discount wars

November was another tough month for Volkswagen of America. The VW brand's sales fell 16 percent as sales of the Jetta sedan, Passat sedan and Tiguan crossover all declined, leaving the brand's year-to-date sales 5 percent below last year.

One contributing factor: VW has cut incentives 13 percent since September. That partly reflects the changeover to the 2014 model year, but Volkswagen Group of America CEO Jonathan Browning told reporters today he is determined that VW will not follow the "super aggressive" incentives and the generous financing deals being offered this holiday season.

Subaru, meanwhile, extended its lead over VW in the U.S. sales charts with a 30 percent November increase.

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