*Auto sales up close

November's numbers are beginning to come in this morning and as expected, they're pretty bad. Ford was down 30.6 percent and even Toyota fell 33.9 percent. GM, Chrysler and the others release their figures later today. The automakers do not break out local sales, but we do have the number of new vehicle registrations through October. They, too, are pretty bad. In the L.A. area, October registrations fell almost 40 percent, with the domestic automakers faring a lot worse than the Japanese. But as you can see, everybody was taking huge hits.

--Buick, down 69.6 percent
--Chrysler, down 65.4 percent
--Chevrolet, down 60.3 percent
--Nissan, down 46.2 percent
--Lexus, down 44.5 percent
--Dodge, down 41.9 percent
--Pontiac, down 39.5 percent
--Toyota, down 29.1 percent
--Mercedes, down 26.5 percent
--Honda, down 22.1 percent

These results, courtesy of the Southland Motor Car Dealers Association, can be sliced and diced in any number of ways. The year-to-date percentages, for example, aren't quite as bleak (Honda is only down 4.5 percent through October). Also keep in mind that some brands have a relatively small number of registrations each month, so the percentages can be skewed. But lets be honest: theres no way to understate whats going on. From the NYT:

Though G.M., Ford and Chrysler have been hit hardest because they sell higher percentages of trucks and sport utility vehicles, this has been an unpleasant year for foreign carmakers like Toyota and Honda as well. Those companies have been deeply discounting their vehicles, something they have done only sparingly before. Toyotas discounts averaged $1,908 a vehicle, an all-time high for the company, according to Edmunds.com. Toyota offered zero-percent loans on 11 models. Incentives were more than $3,000 a vehicle for the Detroit automakers, but the average for each company was down slightly from October.

*GM sales in November were down 41 percent.


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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
 
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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