GM Is Expected to Lead Automakers in November Sales Gains

DETROIT (TheStreet) -- Forecasters expect U.S. vehicle sales in November to show a single-digit gain from a strong November a year ago, with GM (GM) sales gains leading the industry.

Kelley Blue Book said it expects GM will lead all manufacturers with a 12% sales gain in November, reflecting high demand for both its new trucks and its secondary brands. Edmunds.com sees a 10% gain for Chrysler, with 8% gains at GM and Toyota (TM).

"The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra should have solid growth, as demand for pickups continues with the strength in the real estate market," said Kelley Blue Book analyst Alec Gutierrez in a prepared statement. "Solid gains also are expected for Cadillac and Buick, as consumers continue to look to the new Cadillac ATS, XTS and Buick Encore as legitimate competitors to traditional luxury players, such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz."

Kelley Blue Book said the Detroit Three and Toyota will all produce sales gains of 6% or more, while Hyundai and Volkswagen will show declines. While pickup trucks and crossovers will be the top two segments, sales of mid-sized sedans have slowed. Overall, the firm sees industry light-vehicle November sales gaining about 4% from the same month a year earlier.

November sales will be reported on Tuesday. Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds.com and LMC Automotive all project light-vehicle sales to be around 1.2 million. The firms project seasonally adjusted annual sales rates of 15.6 million, 15.7 million and 16.1 million, respectively. Meanwhile, UBS analyst Colin Langan projects a SAAR of 15.6 million and a November sales increase of 2%.

"The sales pace in September and October were plagued by external variables that caused a lower level of demand, so the returning strength in November confirms that the underlying recovery remains intact," said LMC Automotive analyst Jeff Schuster in a prepared statement.

Edmunds.com sees a sales gain of 4.7%. Any economic uncertainty that car shoppers might have felt in October seems to be a distant memory by now," said Edmunds analyst Jessica Caldwell in a prepared statement. "Car buyers are already taking advantage of advertised holiday deals, and as we plow deeper into the holiday season the table is set for 2013 to finish on a very strong note."

Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

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