U.S. sales of cars and light trucks surged 9% in November to 1.24 million units, which is the fastest pace in almost seven years.
The industry’s annualized sales rate, adjusted for seasonal factors, rose to 16.4 million last month, up from 15.3 million a year earlier and easily topping analysts’ forecasts in the 15.8 million range.
Last month’s SAAR was the highest since the 16.8 million mark reached in February 2007 — 10 months before the start of the recession. It’s the second time the SAAR has topped 16 million this year after hitting 16.1 million in August, a sign that the industry’s recovery still has plenty of fuel.
“Industry sales in November picked up after Thanksgiving, contributing to the best sales pace of the year,” said Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager. “Showroom traffic surged over the holiday weekend for Toyota, indicating good momentum we expect to continue through the end of the year and into 2014.”
It was the best November since 2003 and just over 84,000 units shy of the industry’s best November ever — 2001, when sales totaled 1.328 million. Industry sales topped 16 million units from 1999 through 2007 before the collapse of 2008-09.
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