The word "best" tends gets thrown around with such ease and frequency that it can lose some of its luster. However, a number of automakers are now saying that November sales have been their best in recent memory and, for some, in history.
Take Mazda as an example. Mazda North America reported that sales of its models surpassed 22,700 in the 30-day period, up 7% versus the same stretch last year. That helped push its year-to-date total to just shy of 290,000 vehicles, making it a virtual lock that the Japanese automaker will surpass the 300,000 unit milestone before 2015 concludes.
The same was true for BMW, as the German nameplate saw a tick over 32,000 vehicles sold to newly minted car owners in November, based on its most recent sales report.
Ludwig Willisch, BMW President and CEO, pointed out the irregularity that made last month so unique from the 2014 version, making this year's total all the more impressive.
"There were fewer selling days in November, yet the demand for new vehicles [was] solid, resulting in the ninth record sales month for BMW this year," Willisch highlighted, noting the popularity of the automaker's Sports Activity Vehicles. "The all-new 7 Series did very well in its first full month of sales but there's no question the trend is towards light trucks and the improving availability of our SAV's gave a nice boost to our overall sales in November."
Nearly 10,200 BMW light trucks sold in November nationwide, a whopping 16% more compared to the same month last year. Year to date, almost 90,000 light trucks have sold, well ahead of the 77,300 bought over the corresponding 11-month period in 2014.
Lower gas prices, strong economy fuel buying bonanza
Not to be outdone was Hyundai Motor America, which witnessed a sales blitz that made November its best one in history. Vehicle buys surpassed 60,000, a 12% jump from year-ago levels.
Derrick Hatami, Hyundai Motor America's Vice President of National Sales, lent some of the credit to the favorable buying environment.
"With the combination of a strong economy, lower gas prices, and improving crossover inventory, Hyundai experienced a record November," Hatami explained. "In addition to our Tucson nearly doubling its sales over November 2014, a number of our products experienced double-digit sales gains."
These included the Elantra, Veloster, and Accent, with sales up 26%, 44%, and 70%, respectively. Tucson purchases catapulted by 90% year-over-year.
Kia notches 6 million cars sold in U.S. since 1994
Also experiencing the November sales wave was Kia Motors America. With its headquarters based in Seoul, South Korea, its North American arm – established in Irvine, California – reported a best-ever November after sales surpassed 45,500. This means that Kia North America has sold 6 million vehicles in 21 years, with the first U.S.-based dealership opening in 1994.
Michael Sprague, KMA CEO, attributed buyers' interest to the deep discount sales event it offered throughout the month.
"With our 'Holidays On Us' sales event in place throughout November, customers visited our showrooms in record numbers to discover the new Kia," Sprague said. "Kia continues to grow and mature at a rapid rate, and surpassing the 6 million vehicles mark as we push toward a strong finish to the year is the latest example of how far this brand has come in a very short period of time."
Automakers have a tall task ahead of them if they want to close out 2015 in the same fashion as they did in November. The consumer, however, will be the ultimate determinant of the outcome.