NEW YORK – New car sales in the U.S. in November grew 15 percent from a year earlier to 1,143,505 units, with Japanese automakers making particularly strong gains, owing to a rebound in demand from a hurricane-affected October, according to preliminary data released Monday by U.S. research service Autodata Corp.
The figure translates into a seasonally adjusted, annualized 15.54 million cars, up 1.25 million cars from the previous month, a level last seen in January 2008, before the financial crisis in September that year, when annualized sales hit 15.55 million.
Many dealers appear to have posted increased sales in November after they were forced to close their outlets in late October when Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast, while some buyers also replaced cars damaged by the hurricane.
Among Japanese automakers, Honda Motor Co. registered a 38.9 percent increase to 116,580 units, a record for the month of November. The sharp growth stemmed in part from a reaction to sluggish sales a year earlier as Honda faced parts supply shortages after its key Thai factory was impacted by flooding.
Toyota Motor Corp. posted a 17.2 percent gain to 161,695. Nissan Motor Co. marked a 12.9 percent rise to 96,197.
General Motors Corp. was the top seller, with 186,505 units, up 3.4 percent. Ford Motor Co. came in second with 177,092 units, up 6.4 percent. Toyota ranked third.