Did Black Friday Juice GM's Sales -- But Not Ford's?

Analysts are saying that the new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado likely had a strong month in November. Photo credit: General Motors

Did "Black Friday" give U.S. auto sales a big boost?

We won't know for sure until the automakers release their November sales results on Tuesday. And overall, analysts are predicting just a small year-over-year gain for U.S. auto sales. 

But some analysts think that holiday-minded shoppers might have been more inclined to spend big on a new ride -- and General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) could turn out to be a big winner.

A nice Black Friday boost for GM
Several leading analysts predict that GM will post a big year-over-year sales gain for November, thanks in part to the company's Black Friday discount promotion.  

Kelley Blue Book analyst Alec Gutierrez is looking for a 12% year-over-year gain for GM, which would lead the market. He said in a statement that GM's new 2014 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra likely saw solid sales growth in November. 

Sales of the compact Cadillac ATS continue to grow. Photo credit: General Motors.

Gutierrez also forecasts good results for GM's Cadillac and Buick brands, as recent models like Cadillac's ATS and XTS continue to gain ground on luxury-brand rivals. That would be especially promising for GM's efforts to boost Cadillac: The luxury brand isn't included in GM's Black Friday discount program.

But Gutierrez, like other analysts, sees a much smaller gain for Ford (NYSE: F  ) , just 6.2%. Ford's Black Friday promotion, which offers car-buyers a prepaid Visa card worth up to $1,000, has received wide attention. 

But so far at least, it doesn't appear to have done big things for the Blue Oval's sales.

Did Ford get on Santa's "naughty" list?
Gutierrez does think that Ford's Escape will post good gains, as sales of small crossover SUVs have continued to be very strong. 

Meanwhile,'s Jessica Caldwell sees an even smaller gain for Ford, just 3%, but thinks that Chrysler will be the month's big winner with a 10% gain. She also feels that the offers made by automakers leading up to Black Friday made a difference. 

"Car buyers are already taking advantage of advertised holiday deals," Caldwell said in a statement. "And as we plow deeper into the holiday season the table is set for 2013 to finish on a very strong note."

Why Ford's results might be better than they look
Analysts differ on just how much Ford will gain over last year's sales, but all of the market-watchers I've checked in with see Ford's gains coming in at about half (percentage-wise) of GM's.

But I don't think Ford shareholders should get too worried. Here's why: These gains are all year-over-year gains, meaning that we're comparing the results we expect to see for November 2013 with the results we saw in November of 2012.

And November of 2012 was a very good month for Ford. Ford saw sales rise 12% last November, with big gains for its Focus compact and its F-Series pickups. Meanwhile, GM's sales were up just 3% in November of 2012, as its pickups lost ground to Ford. 

That puts the analysts' estimates in perspective. If Ford beats last year's totals by just a bit, November will still turn out to be a good month for Ford — just as it probably was for GM.

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Read/Post Comments (8) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2013, at 12:49 PM, Treerat wrote:

    Once again GM is relying on discounts and rebates. The same stupid path that almost killed the auto industry before. Make a product that doesn't require discounts to sell.

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2013, at 6:23 PM, imDanielle2 wrote:

    People are not to happy about those Ford plants being built in Mexico.. At the Same time while GM is building the new Colorado plants here in Missouri...

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2013, at 6:50 PM, lem2004 wrote:

    @Treerat,If you look at the numbers Ford was disconting way more than GM.Check the numbers out before you comment without knowing what you are talking about.

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2013, at 8:44 PM, dcsoldier wrote:

    I seriously doubt that a single sale was lost because of a plant having been built in Mexico. In fact, I doubt there is one in a thousand buyers that even know Ford built a new plant. As a shareholder ---- if it makes money to build a plant in Mexico, India and China --- more power to Ford.

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2013, at 9:31 PM, Treerat wrote:

    Maybe it's a regional thing. There are no rebates advertised locally for Ford while GM advertising is filling the tube.

  • Report this Comment On November 30, 2013, at 9:38 PM, dcsoldier wrote:

    Oklahoma SW - some dealers adv up to 12 Grand off F150 XLT's.

    But heard some trying to "add" cost to the Raptors. Though haven't confirmed that any dealer actually adding to the price on the Raptors. But there sure aren't any staying on a lot very long!!

    GM advertising hard on the Silverado, but I don't think they are being real successful, certainly not like they expected.

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2013, at 8:25 AM, ohiodale wrote:

    I guess we will see when the auto sales numbers come out later today. The problem with GM reducing the price for their vehicles is it lowers their profits.

  • Report this Comment On December 06, 2013, at 1:09 PM, SkepikI wrote:

    ^ If this is so, it has something to do with where they are at on their costs and production curve, I would think. If the resulting increase in sales drove (ha pun intended) them down the cost curve MORE than the incentives cost, it would raise their profits I think.....and I am not sure, but I suspect this is where their competitor F finds itself- incentives are costly, but pushing down the cost curve and filling assembly lines actually improves the bottom line. JR?

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