NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 12/07/11 -- While international markets are showing signs of slowing, auto sales in the United States are on the upswing in recent months. According to Jenny Lin, senior economist at Ford, the average age of an automobile in the US is close to eleven years, and is finally prompting recession-wary consumers back to the show rooms. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Auto Manufacturing industry and provides equity research on Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) and Honda Motor Company (NYSE: HMC). Access to the full company reports can be found at:
Industry sales rose 14 percent to 994,721 in November, according to Autodata Corp. It was the fastest sales pace since August 2009, when the government offered big rebates for drivers via the Cash for Clunkers program. Should sales continue at this pace, US sales would hit 13.6 million this year -- far better rate than the 12.6 million in the first 10 months of this year.
Paul Ballew, a former GM chief economist who now works for Nationwide Insurance, notes the level of demand is unprecedented. "Unless this recovery is derailed, vehicle sales will continue to move upward," he says.
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Ford says its US sales rose 13 percent in November, as higher sales of trucks and sport utility vehicles offset a decline in cars. While the US market is picking up, Ford posted a 7 percent year-on-year slump in November car sales in China. Deliveries for the first 11 months rose 7 percent to 470,152 vehicles, the statement said. Deliveries at Jiangling Motors Corp., Ford's commercial-vehicle joint venture, fell 19 percent to 13,721 vehicles last month, Bloomberg reports.
Meanwhile, Honda Motor Co. reported that it sold 83,925 vehicles in the United States in November, down from 89,617 a year earlier and 15% below October's total. Sales of cars fell 9.5% while truck sales slid 3.2%. "The impact of the Thailand flooding on our North American production levels continued to be felt in November," said John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president of sales. "We're looking forward to closing the year on a strong note as production recovers and the all-new CR-V goes on sale this month."
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