SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — November's U.S. auto sales exceeded estimates as the industry benefited from buyers returning to showrooms after Hurricane Sandy a month earlier.
Replacement demand from owners of damaged vehicles and purchases deferred by Sandy, the superstorm that struck the East Coast in late October, appears to have boosted vehicle sales in November to the best monthly pace in more than four years.
"There is nothing wrong with these numbers," Alan Baum, principal of auto-industry researcher Baum & Associates in West Bloomfield, Mich., said Monday in a telephone interview. "We are obviously coming from much lower numbers, and more and more people are coming back into the market."
U.S. light-vehicle deliveries probably rose 12 percent in November to 1.11 million, according to the average of estimates by 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. For October, all automakers reported deliveries that trailed average estimates from Bloomberg's survey after Hurricane Sandy inflicted almost $70 billion in damage to New York and New Jersey alone.
Sandy damaged more than 230,000 vehicles, including 190,000 in New York and New Jersey, according to estimates from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.