Westlake Village, California – While new vehicle retail sales in the U.S. are expected to decline slightly in November 2009, compared with November 2008, total vehicle sales including fleet volume are projected to increase marginally, according to J.D. Power and Associates.

November retail sales are expected to be 547,800 units, representing a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 8.2 million units. Total November sales are projected to be 687,800 units, up 0.4 per cent from November 2008, with fleet volume expected to increase by 3.5 per cent from one year ago.

“The expected November selling rate of 10.2 million units is higher compared with one year ago, driven by a stable retail environment and higher fleet volume,” said Gary Dilts, senior vice-president of global automotive operations at J.D. Power. “On a selling day-adjusted basis, total sales are forecasted to be up slightly compared with last year, further signalling an industry on the mend.”

In November 2009, crossover utility vehicles are expected to account for one-fourth of all retail sales, the highest level since the segment emerged in 1995. Truck share within the retail segment mix has increased to 51 per cent in November, up from an 18-month low of 43 per cent in August, despite the recent attention surrounding small cars.

J.D. Power and Associates has adjusted its 2009 forecast slightly, maintaining total sales at 10.3 million units, but decreasing retail sales from 8.6 to 8.5 million units. The 2010 forecast remains at 11.5 million units for total sales, and 9.5 million units for retail sales.

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