DETROIT - Automakers yesterday reported mixed U.S. sales results for November, with some new or more-fuel-efficient models performing well despite consumer malaise over high gas prices and the weak economy.
But even with rising sales of small cars and crossovers, the industry is predicting things will get worse in 2008. General Motors Corp. said yesterday that it was cutting scheduled first-quarter production 11 percent, while Ford Motor Co. said it would cut scheduled production 7 percent.
Shares of automakers fell. GM dropped $1.22, or 4.09 percent, to $28.61 in trading yesterday, and Ford shares declined 26 cents, or 3.46 percent, to $7.25. Toyota shares fell $1.53, or 1.36 percent, to $110.92. Shares of Nissan declined 23 cents, or 1.00 percent, to $22.67, and Honda shares dropped 92 cents, or 2.67 percent, to $33.49.
GM, the biggest automaker by U.S. sales, said its November sales dropped 11 percent, hurt by falling demand for trucks as well as cuts in sales to low-profit rental-car fleets, while Chrysler L.L.C. said sales fell 2 percent. Ford and Toyota Motor Corp. both reported flat sales for the month. Honda Motor Co. Ltd.'s sales were up 5 percent, while Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.'s sales rose 6 percent.
GM's November truck sales fell 15 percent, a casualty of the slowing pace of new-home construction, while car sales declined 4 percent.
Ford said that its car sales fell 2 percent, but that its truck sales rose 2 percent. Sales of the newly redesigned Ford Focus jumped 18 percent.
Toyota continued its drive to overtake Ford this year as the No. 2 automaker by sales, outselling Ford by nearly 15,000 vehicles.
Chrysler's car sales shot up 41 percent, led by the new Sebring convertible as well as the Dodge Charger and Avenger. But Chrysler's truck sales were down 13 percent.
Honda's car sales rocketed up nearly 20 percent on the strength of the new Accord sedan and the subcompact Fit, which saw sales double over last November. But the automaker's truck sales fell 11 percent.
Nissan said its sales rose largely on the strength of the new Rogue crossover and the Versa subcompact, which saw sales surge 67 percent. Nissan's car sales increased 11 percent, but truck sales were flat.