Toyota, Nissan, Subaru record strong U.S. sales

Kyodo

Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. posted double-digit gains in November in U.S. sales of new cars, beating overall market growth, while Honda Motor Co. marked a slight dip, according to data from Autodata Corp.

Dealers sold 1.25 million new cars and light trucks, up 8.9 percent from a year earlier for the strongest November since 2003 on the back of brisk sales of sport utility vehicles as the U.S. economy steadily expanded. An additional business day in the month also helped lift the total.

“Thanksgiving sales from Nov. 28 grew sharply from a year earlier,” a Toyota official said.

The overall sales tally translates into an annualized 16.41 million units after seasonal adjustments, the highest level since February 2007. It was the seventh month is a row to cross the 15 million threshold.

Toyota registered a 10.1 percent sales rise from a year earlier to 178,044 due to solid demand for the RAV4, its key SUV. Toyota ranked third in sales after General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co.

Helped by its main midsize car, the Altima, and other models, Nissan’s sales grew 10.7 percent to 106,528. It ranked sixth in the U.S.

Honda meanwhile suffered a 0.1 percent sales drop to 116,507 units, making it fifth-biggest.

Among smaller manufacturers, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., known for its Subaru brand of cars, expanded sales 29.8 percent to 36,621 units. Mazda Motor Corp. shed 4.3 percent in sales to 20,754.

GM, Ford and fourth-ranked Chrysler LLC all marked greater sales in the month, thanks to strong SUV and pickup demand.

GM increased sales 13.7 percent to 212,060. Ford registered a 7.1 percent gain to 189,705. Chrysler increased sales 17 percent to 139,200.