By on November 25, 2010

What is the difference between the November U.S. car market and my wife? The answer is: None. Edmunds says the U.S. annual sales rate for new vehicles in November will be essentially flat from the prior month.

This reiterates equally flat predictions Wardsauto and J.D.Power had made a few days ago. Edmunds analyst Jessica Calwell paints a pretty face on the prediction: “We’re seeing some stability and consistency in the marketplace for the first time since the economic downturn. The auto makers have realized that they can achieve profitability at this level of sales, and they seem to be settling into that reality.”

Edmunds sees November SAAR to stay at 12.2 million, just like October. Compared to the horrendous November of 2009, sales are expected to be up 17 percent, so there will be something to celebrate.

Edmunds already has forecasts for the largest automakers. As per their crystal ball, it will look as follows:

Change from November 2009 Change from October 2010
Chrysler 22.4% -15.4%
Ford 25.6% -2.0%
GM 11.5% -8.5%
Honda 16.2% -13.3%
Nissan 10.0% -12.4%
Toyota -1.8% -9.8%
Industry total 17.0% -8.1%

(Unadjusted for selling days)

Two other closely followed metrics will be up. Average auto incentives in the U.S. are expected to be $2,490 per vehicle sold in November, up 2.1 percent from the prior month, but down 8.6 percent from the desperate month of the prior year. Buy (North) American proponents will be pleased to hear that the combined U.S. monthly market share for Chrysler, Ford and GM is expected to be 45.5 percent in November, up from 44.8 percent a year ago and up from 45.2 percent in October. If you look at it this way, the market appears much better proportioned.

But with one month to go, it’s time to settle into the reality of an 11.5m car market. Compared to the 10.4 million units in 2009, we’ll call that an A-cup.

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