Black Friday expected to help new-car sales rise 4 percent

(November 24, 2016) IRVINE, Calif. — New-vehicle sales are expected to increase 4 percent year-over-year to a total of 1.37 million units in November 2016, resulting in an estimated 17.7 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), according to Kelley Blue Book

This will be the highest November sales total on record, beating the previous record of 1.32 million units in November 2001.

"Many automotive industry sales records will be broken in November; although, there is the added benefit of two extra selling days year-over-year," said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book.

"With the help of substantial incentives and holiday sales events, especially Black Friday weekend, retail sales will see the most significant improvements. SUVs and trucks continue to be the biggest sellers, and in fact, cars could be outsold 2-to-1 by light trucks once the final numbers are tallied."

After a record U.S. sales total in 2015, Kelley Blue Book's full-year forecast for 2016 calls for sales in the range of 17.3 to 17.5 million, which would range from a 1 percent decrease to a possible 1 percent increase.

Key Highlights for Estimated November 2016 Sales Forecast:

   • In November, new light-vehicle sales, including fleet, are expected to hit 1,370,000 units, up 4 percent from November 2015 and even with October 2016.

    • The seasonally adjusted annual rate for November 2016 is estimated to be 17.7 million, down from 18.1 million in November 2015 and down from 17.9 million in October 2016.

    • Retail sales are expected to account for 83.8 percent of volume in November 2016, up from 82.1 percent in November 2015.

"Subaru of America could report another record-breaking month in November, and Kelley Blue Book projects 15 percent year-over-year growth," said Fleming. "Subaru crossovers like the Outback and Crosstrek will lead the way and should rise more than 20 percent, while their cars will likely be down. However, Subaru will soon receive a boost from the redesigned Impreza hitting dealerships in December."

American Honda also is expected to gain market share in November, approaching double-digit volume gains, largely because of Honda's small SUVs, the CR-V and HR-V. The CR-V is currently the top seller in the compact SUV and crossover segment, even though a redesigned model will be on the market in December.