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Major auto markets post mixed sales in November

New vehicle sales in the U.S. and Europe rose year over year in November, while China and Japan reported a decline in sales, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis.

US new vehicle sales rise YOY in November

U.S. vehicle sales rose 2.1% on a nonseasonally adjusted basis to 1.41 million units from 1.38 million units a year ago, according to data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Passenger car sales in the U.S. for the month slid 10.0% to 360,598 units from 400,804 units in November 2018. Sales of trucks, minivans and SUVs for the period grew 7.1% to 1.05 million units from 981,749 units in the year-ago period.

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Toyota Motor Corp. posted a 9.2% increase in U.S. sales for November at 207,857 units. Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co. Ltd. sold 133,952 units in November, up 11.1% year over year. Sales at Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. plunged 15.9% year over year to 92,947 units.

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General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV do not report monthly sales figures.

Interest rates for new vehicles averaged 5.5% in November, car shopping experts at Edmunds said in a Dec. 3 statement.

"Shoppers who made it out to the dealership this November got to take advantage of some of the biggest bargains all year thanks to a combination of Black Friday and model-year selldown promotions," said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' executive director of insights. "Auto loan interest rates still aren't as low as they were a few years ago, but it's encouraging to see that shoppers are landing more attractive financing offers as rates continue to trend downward."

New vehicle prices continued to rise in November, Edmunds said, with the average transaction price hitting an all-time high of $37,981, compared to $37,188 last year and $33,282 five years ago.

European auto sales increase YOY in November

Car sales across Europe rose 4.5% in November on a year-over-year basis, according to data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, or ACEA.

New passenger car registrations, or sales, totaled 1.21 million vehicles in November, up from 1.16 million in the year-ago period, according to ACEA data for the European Union and the European Free Trade Association, or EFTA, countries of Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.

Among the five major European markets, only the U.K. registered a sales decline in November.

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Germany recorded a 9.7% year-over-year increase in registrations. France edged up slightly at 0.7%, while the U.K. posted a 1.3% decline.

Among the EFTA countries, only Switzerland registered an increase in sales with a 0.5% rise. Registrations in Norway plunged 18.5% year over year while Iceland posted an 11.1% drop.

Major automakers recorded mixed results for November for the EU and EFTA regions.

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Volkswagen AG's sales rose 13.4% in November to 312,116 units. Registrations for the German automaker's Porsche brand jumped 282.9% while Volkswagen brand sales recorded a 9.3% increase.

France's Renault SA's posted year-over-year sales growth of 4.1% to 122,011 vehicles.

PSA Group recorded a 7.9% decline in registrations to 173,076 units as its Opel and Vauxhall brands dealt with a 22.1% year-over-year plunge in sales.

Daimler AG's sales increased 7% to 88,733 vehicles in November.

Auto sales dip in Japan, China

New vehicle sales in Japan slumped year over year in November as most major domestic automakers posted a decrease in sales for the period.

Sales came in at 315,736 units in November, lower than the 357,307 units from the prior-year period, according to data from the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

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Toyota sold 112,711 units during the month, compared to 121,301 units sold in November 2018. Honda sold 40,352 vehicles during the period, less than the 57,246 units it sold in the year-ago period.

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In China, auto sales fell 3.6% in November from a year earlier to 2.5 million units, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Passenger car sales in China dropped 5.4% to 2.06 million units in November.