DETROIT (AP) — Black Friday deals and the long Thanksgiving weekend lured buyers into U.S. automobile showrooms, and analysts say the surge should boost November sales above a strong month last year.
Analysts estimate that last month's car and truck sales rose from 3.6 percent to as high as 6.3 percent over November of 2012, which at the time was the best month in nearly five years. All automakers report monthly sales figures on Tuesday.
Some analysts couched their estimates, however, saying they were counting on a strong finish to the month on Black Friday and Saturday.
Indications are sales finished strongly. Three dealers contacted by The Associated Press all said they did well after Thanksgiving, boosting their monthly totals over November of last year.
"Black Friday did give us a lift," said Bill Perkins, president of two Chevrolet dealerships in the Detroit suburbs of Taylor and Eastpointe, Mich. "A lot of people were out shopping over the weekend."
Normally November is a lackluster month for auto sales, tucked between strong demand in October and holiday discounts in December. But automakers, particularly Ford and General Motors, offered deals this year that brought out buyers, according to the Kelley Blue Book auto website.
The month-end deals were enough to overcome last year's sales, which were artificially boosted by Superstorm Sandy. The giant East Coast storm hit at the end of October, pushing some sales into November, said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for KBB. He's predicting sales of 1.19 million vehicles for last month, a 3.6 percent increase from a year ago and an annual rate of 15.6 million.