Automakers took advantage of early deal making for the holidays to keep sales in the U.S. on a run that was unprecedented during November, helped by an economy that strengthened and inexpensive prices of gas at the pumps that whetted the appetite of buyers for trucks and SUVs.
Sales across the industry exceeded the 18 million rate for the third consecutive month, which set a new record. This helped to make 2015 one of the best years in history for automakers.
Toyota Motor and Nissan Motor beat estimates by Wall Street analysts with increases between 3% and 4%. General Motors and Ford Motor posted gains that were less robust yet still earned well on profitable trucks.
The surge sales is owed partly to the buyers feeling more comfortable by both job and wage growth that is coupled with the low price of gasoline and interest rates. The price of gasoline is approximately 38% less that the average for 2014.
During November, sales of light-vehicles were up by 1.4% to just over 1.3 million, according to an online researcher, which has estimated a drop of 10% in deliveries by Mercedes-Benz.
The luxury car line of the German automaker Daimler AG did not report its results Tuesday due to a problem with company computers.
Automakers are attempting to build more share now prior to the possible peak during 2016 or 2017, said one analyst on Wall Street.
Close to 6% more was spent by automakers during November on incentives than in November of 2014. Toyota incentives ended 14% higher compared to November of last year, including some zero-percent financing for its Camry.
There are signs now that inexpensive borrowing is not going to last much longer. The Federal Reserve has signaled it would likely raise the interest rates in December.
The pending increase is a reflection of the strengthening U.S. economy, which produced 271,000 new jobs during October.
A push in light-trucks helped both Toyota and Nissan, as SUVs, minivans and pickups at Nissan set a new record for November with a surge of 50% for its compact SUV Rogue.