November 2015 Fact Sheet: The U.S. Auto Sales Numbers You Need To Know That You Didn't Know Already

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
november 2015 fact sheet the u s auto sales numbers you need to know that you

The U.S. auto industry generated an overall sales increase in November 2015 despite notable decreases at American Honda and Volkswagen Group, and a shorter-than-normal November selling season.

So strong were the numbers produced in the lead-up to and during November that analysts and forecasters are all but certain that 2015 will go down as the best year ever for auto sales volume in America. Just six years removed from the doldrums of 2009, auto sales in 2015 are expanding for a fifth consecutive year, rising 52 percent compared with 2010 and 5 percent compared with 2014.

This is the theme of auto sales coverage as we approach the end of 2015, as bestseller lists highlighting the strength of pickup trucks and ever more popular crossovers are being prepped. But what about the small figures behind the big numbers; the less well-known stories which contribute to the overall theme?

These are they.

SW x2: 2015 has hosted Volkswagen of America’s transition from the Jetta SportWagen days of yore to the new Golf SportWagen era. But the SportWagen is a diesel-centric proposition, with the overwhelming majority of JSW and GSW buyers opting for the TDI. With that car unavailable, total Volkswagen wagon sales in November plunged 54 percent to only 629 units in November.

812: Volvo’s new bestseller is the brand’s old bestseller — the XC90. Along with the 2,236 sales of the XC90 and the 2,077 XC60 sales in November 2015, Volvo also sold 812 wagons: V60, V60 CC, XC70. That’s up from 719 a year ago. The combined sales of those models are up 22 percent, year-to-date. Volvo’s sedans – S60, S60 CC, and S80 – jumped 52 percent to 1,777 units in November, but are down 16 percent to 17,114 year-to-date, making up just 28 percent of Volvo’s total volume.

2 Eyes: Scion’s two newest models, the Mazda 2-based iA subcompact sedan and the Toyota Auris-derived iM compact hatch, are Scion’s two top-selling models. Not only are they the most popular vehicles at Scion now, but they account for the majority of the brand’s sales. 55 percent of the cars sold by Scion in November were iAs and iMs. Even though the iA and iM didn’t arrive until September, the pair accounts for nearly one out of five Scions sold over the last 11 months.

37.5: Automakers competing in the United States generated 37.5 percent of the industry’s total new vehicle sales volume in November 2015 with SUVs and crossovers, from high-volume contenders such as the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Ford Escape to oft-forgotten niche products like the Mercedes-Benz G-Class and Toyota Land Cruiser. One year ago, in November 2014, SUV/CUV market share stood at 33.8%.

14: After 14 months in which the Honda CR-V was America’s top-selling utility vehicle in America, the Toyota RAV4 made sure Honda couldn’t make it 15. RAV4 sales jumped 30 percent to 27,368 units in November 2015, 1,437 more than the CR-V (down 20 percent) managed last month. The Ford Escape, meanwhile, was bumped into fourth place, out of its normal third-place perch, as Nissan Rogue sales jumped 50 percent and Escape sales tumbled 19 percent.

-43,681: The Honda CR-V is easily America’s top-selling SUV/CUV nameplate. The CR-V’s 314,462 year-to-date sales places the Honda nearly 31,000 units ahead of its closest rival. Yet the CR-V’s GM rival is really two nameplates from one platform: Equinox and Terrain. Though aged and not sufficiently refreshed for MY2016 — at least in the eyes of one critic who wonders where proximity access is in a Terrain Denali — the pair’s 358,143 sales is well in excess of the CR-V’s total. Add the RDX to the CR-V’s total? Sure, why not. But don’t forget that the Cadillac SRX, a GM Theta cousin to the Equinox and Terrain, easily outsells the RDX.

48: On a year-over-year basis, monthly sales at Subaru haven’t decreased in over four years. In 48 consecutive months, including a 2 percent uptick in November 2015 which occurred even as Forester, Outback, and Legacy sales decreased, Subaru USA has recorded greater sales than during the same period one year earlier. Year-to-date, Subaru volume is up by nearly 63,000 units.

3.2: Apparently, the Infiniti QX50, formerly known as the EX37 and EX35, simply needed a wheelbase stretch of 3.2 inches. (And a renewed effort to market the small crossover.) Sales over the last two months are up 390 percent to 1,897 after falling in 10 of the previous 11 months. The QX50/EX lineup hasn’t averaged more than 900 monthly sales its first full year of availability, 2008, when Infiniti USA averaged 1,073 sales per month.

-250: Porsche’s first year-over-year decrease since May of this year, a 5 percent year-over-year drop valued at 250 fewer sales, was a family affair. The 911, 918 Spyder, Boxster, Cayenne, Cayman, Macan, and Panamera – every single Porsche model – all sold less often this November than last, with Porsche’s two SUVs falling 5 percent and the five cars sliding 6 percent.

1986: Not since 2004, when the Mazda3 outsold the Mazda6 by a scant 3,932 units, has the 3 been so closely challenged for bestseller status at the small Japanese brand. But in 2015, after outselling the CX-5 by 5,863 units, the 3 trails the CX-5 by 1,986 sales in America. Only in January, February, and August of this year has the 3 outsold the CX-5 compact crossover. The CX-5 outsold the 3 by 1,351 units in November.

2>1 & 3>1: So far this year, two different Land Rover models have outsold the whole Jaguar brand: Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. (The Jaguar brand, at 13,269 sales, is 56 sales ahead of the Range Rover Evoque.) In November, however, three different Land Rover models outsold the whole Jaguar brand: Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, and Discovery Sport. Jaguar sales plunged 15 percent last month to 1,065 sales in the lead-up to a trio of key launches for the brand. Land Rover posted a 79 percent increase with help from 1,180 Discovery Sports, 1,598 Range Rovers, and 1,776 Range Rover Sports.

½: U.S. sales of the Cadillac CTS were chopped in half last month. November 2015 sales of the CTS fell 49.96 percent, from 2,446 in November 2014 to just 1,224 units last month, a new low for the new CTS. Not since December of last year has Cadillac sold more than 2,000 CTSs in a single month; not since October of last year have more than 3,000 CTSs been sold in a single month.

-14%: Ford’s hyped Friends & Neighbors sale in November wasn’t quite as good for buyers of lower-end machinery as first hoped. As a result, U.S. sales of Ford’s core entry-level lineup – Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, Escape – plunged 14 percent in November 2015, a sharp loss of 9,223 sales across those four nameplates. Ford got the message. Buyers want low interest rates.

200K+: FCA’s Jeep brand set a U.S. sales record for its iconic Wrangler with 175,328 units sold in calendar year 2014. 2015 isn’t over yet, but Jeep has already sold 187,111 Wranglers. Last December, Jeep sold 14,003. Even if they miss that target by 1,114 units in December 2015, Jeep will still sell 200,000 Wranglers in the United States in 2015. Which is a lot.

1,244: Two of the most oft-derided products in the BMW range, the X4 and X6, generated 1,244 U.S. sales in November. Meanwhile, the i8 supercar, 7-Series limo, and Z4 roadster generated an identical 1,244 U.S. sales in 2015. Conspiracy theorists, have at it.

6×2: In each of the last six months, from June through November, U.S. sales of subcompact crossovers have more than doubled, year-over-year. It helps that five members of the category – Trax, 500X, HR-V, Renegade, CX-3 – weren’t on sale during the same stretch one year ago.

35%: In a segment that tumbled 8 percent in November 2015, U.S. sales of the two highest-volume midsize cars, Camry and Accord, increased. As a result, their level of control grew notably stronger, with market share rising to 35.4 percent in November 2015 from 31 percent in November 2014 and 32.4 percent in the first 10 months of 2015.

8/10: Yes, the pickup truck world is changing. Nissan is bringing out a new full-size truck. The small/midsize pickup truck sub-segment was shaken up by the arrival of new GM twins. And a new Honda Ridgeline but a mere few months away. Yet the degree to which four traditional Detroit full-size pickups control the truck world is still astonishing. 82 percent of the pickups sold in America in November 2015 were full-size trucks from Ford, Ram, and General Motors.

Timothy Cain is the founder of, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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12 of 16 comments
  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Dec 16, 2015

    "U.S. sales of the Cadillac CTS were chopped in half last month. November 2015 sales of the CTS fell 49.96 percent, from 2,446 in November 2014 to just 1,224 units last month, a new low for the new CTS. Not since December of last year has Cadillac sold more than 2,000 CTSs in a single month; not since October of last year have more than 3,000 CTSs been sold in a single month." A certain... passionate... person I know has indeed been right all along.

    • See 9 previous
    • Cltwxguy Cltwxguy on Dec 20, 2015

      I was thinking deadweight.... But regardless, no one WANTS a Cadillac. They seem to build a competitive car, but the sales numbers tell the story.

  • Stephen Stephen on Dec 16, 2015

    Wonder how many CR-V sales went to the HR-V instead? Or did the HR-V simply cannibalize Fits?

  • NotMyCircusNotMyMonkeys for that money, it had better be built by people listening to ABBA
  • Abrar Very easy and understanding explanation about brake paint
  • MaintenanceCosts We need cheaper batteries. This is a difficult proposition at $50k base/$60k as tested but would be pretty compelling at $40k base/$50k as tested.
  • Scott ?Wonder what Toyota will be using when they enter the market?
  • Fred The bigger issue is what happens to the other systems as demand dwindles? Will thet convert or will they just just shut down?