DETROIT — Major automakers posted mixed November new vehicle sales in the United States for November on Friday, with General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles down largely on lower fleet sales, while Ford Motor’s sales rose.
Automakers are trying to sell down 2017 model year vehicles, offering high discounts to consumers as the year-end nears. Last year the industry hit record annual sales of 17.55 million units and this year analysts expect full-year sales to fall slightly, increasing competition to move vehicles off dealers’ lots.
G.M. said its sales fell 2.9 percent in November, with sales to consumers flat versus the same month in 2016. Much of the decrease was driven by lower fleet sales to rental agencies, businesses and government agencies.
G.M. said strong sport utility vehicle and crossover sales pushed its average transaction price for the month above $37,000 for the first time. The company’s level of unsold cars, which has been a concern for analysts and the industry, rose slightly to 83 days supply from 80 days at the end of October.
Fleet sales are a low-margin business for automakers. FCA in particular has targeted a significant reduction in this type of sale in 2017.