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Auto Sector suppliers will be posting some amazing numbers come Jan-March

How can I make such a Bold Statement? If you have been tracking sales of Auto's in October & November then you know its not a bold statement. Especially when you consider that December is also the strongest month of the Year for Auto sales and we already had 2 months of strong sales. The reason Dec. is historically a strong auto sales month is because people start finding out when it gets really cold out that their old car can't make it thru 1 more winter of abuse.

6 Auto suppliers to keep your eyes on to buy on any down days:


Auto recovery picks up speed

U.S. car and truck sales in November up 17% over last year Alisa Priddle / The Detroit News

Strong demand pushed U.S. car and truck sales up nearly 17 percent in November from a year ago, signaling that the industry's slow recovery is gaining momentum.

For a second consecutive month, the annualized selling rate — the number of vehicles that would be sold in a year if demand held steady — topped 12 million vehicles as Detroit's Big Three and most foreign automakers posted double-digit gains.

December, traditionally one of the best months for auto sales, is expected to be even better, and the fourth quarter is shaping up as a strong lead-in to 2011.

Sales should continue climbing, riding on improved consumer confidence and long-awaited signs that jobs are being created in meaningful numbers.

"It's all about employment," said Yingzi "Sue" Su, senior economist for General Motors Co. "It's only recently that the logjam seems to be broken," which should spur spending.

Ford Motor Co. led Detroit's automakers last month, with sales up 24.3 percent, while Chrysler Group LLC sales rose 16.7 percent and GM was up 12.2 percent.

Among their Japanese rivals, Nissan Motor Co. led the way with demand up 26.8 percent, followed by Honda Motor Co. with a 21.1 percent sales gain. Toyota Motor Corp. was the only major automaker to report a drop, with sales down 3.3 percent last month.

Toyota blamed the decline on lower fleet sales and high demand for trucks. Toyota Division General Manager Bob Carter downplayed the possibility that sales are faltering in the wake of Toyota's massive recalls tied to sudden acceleration, saying the company continues to rebuild its battered image.

The only other automakers to report a drop for the month were Volvo, which Ford sold to a Chinese automaker in August, as well as Jaguar and Smart, a low-volume maker of minicars.

Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motor Corp. continued to tear up the market, with increases of 45.2 percent and 48.2 percent, respectively.

Light trucks, which include pickups, SUVs, minivans and crossovers, outsold cars, with truck sales reaching 467,000,compared to 406,300 cars for the month.

Overall, the 12.26 million selling rate in November matched October's pace and is much healthier than the 10.86 million rate in November last year. Demand through November rose to 10.44 million cars and trucks, already exceeding 2009 full-year sales of 10.43 million.

Consumers drive sales

November sales were predominantly to retail consumers as most automakers cut back on fleet sales. Many manufacturers also maintained discipline on incentives.

GM has traditionally been one of the biggest spenders on incentives. Jim Bunnell, general manager of GM's U.S. sales, said incentives have fallen from an average of $3,814 per vehicle a year ago to $2,768; the average transaction price has increased $1,300.

Ford sales analyst George Pipas said the automaker also has held the line on incentives and its vehicles are selling for higher prices than a year ago. He declined to provide specific figures.

Toyota is ratcheting up its deals with its annual year-end Toyotathon with attractive financing beginning this month.

Toyota's Carter said the Camry is on track to be the best seller for the year. Ford's Pipas said the Fusion had a record month and crossovers are hot. GM sold 8,000 units of the Chevrolet Cruze.

For trucks, Ford is launching its new F-150 and marked the production launch of the Explorer in Chicago Wednesday. The Chevrolet Equinox and Cadillac SRX crossovers were strong. Chrysler's Jeep Grand Cherokee saw sales up 256 percent, continuing a hot streak for the all-new SUV.

More positive outlook

Automakers expressed optimism the recovery's slow pace could be poised to pick up.

The recovery has been under way for a year, but businesses have only recently had the confidence to add jobs, said GM's Su.

November job figures, to be released Friday, are expected to show 168,000 positions have been added to the economy, said Ford chief economist Ellen Hughes-Cromwick. GM and Chrysler on Tuesday announced plans to add 2,000 engineering jobs in Michigan.

The new jobs come on top of a National Retail Federation report that found Thanksgiving spending was up 8.4 percent this year, a further sign wallets are opening, she said.

Su said pent-up demand for vehicles is at a record high. The average age of vehicles on the road is 10 years, in part because they are more durable but also because consumers have lacked the confidence to buy big-ticket items.

Su said about 13 million vehicles are being scrapped annually and need replacement, and there are about 2 million new drivers entering the market each year, which means there is pent-up demand for 15 million vehicles — far above the current 12 million vehicle selling rate.

Some of that demand was evident in October and November sales and Su expects that to continue into 2011.

Until October, the industry had not seen a 12 million sales rate since September 2008.

"We're climbing to levels we haven't seen in a long time," said Ken Czubay, Ford's head of U.S. sales.

And sales could be setting a new standard.

"Twelve million is the new established baseline," said Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst with "We're seeing more optimism. People are feeling better about their situation and … are ready to buy again.

"The start of 2011 could be stronger than anticipated."

Christina Rogers contributed.

Priddle can be reached at 313-222-2504

From The Detroit News: