Toyota Sienna maintains small edge in U.S. minivan race

Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News.

DETROIT -- November U.S. sales results rolled in today and here are several news nuggets -- updates on a few vehicles I've been tracking this year:

  • Minivans: The Toyota Sienna continues to hold its sales lead, but its position as minivan king is shrinking. Toyota sold 99,865 Siennas through November, an 882 vehicle lead over the Dodge Caravan. Sienna led the Caravan by 975 vehicles at the end of October. As for the other players, Honda tallied 95,579 Odyssey sales after 11 months, followed by the Chrysler Town & Country, 84,701.
  • Pony cars: Camaro continues unthreatened. Through November, Chevrolet sold 81,495 Camaros, compared with 65,381 Ford Mustangs and 36,250 Dodge Challengers. Credit the addition of a convertible this year for Camaro's supremacy.
  • Saab: Although its future remains uncertain, buyers are walking into dealerships. Saab sold 356 vehicles in November. Interestingly, that was only slightly down from 397 vehicles in November 2010. The top seller last month was the 9-5, with 166 sales. Saab has sold 5,340 vehicles this year. Saab reports 2,443vehicles in inventory. Production was halted last spring.
  • Caprice: After much fanfare over the past year or so, the Australian-built Chevrolet Caprice is merely coasting in the slow lane. The dedicated cop car, at least here in the United States, last month posted just 167 sales. Sales this year? 781.
  • General Motors expected the Caprice to be a popular rear-drive alternative to the Dodge Charger and Ford Crown Victoria.
  • Captiva Sport: On the plus side for Chevy, the fleet-only Captiva Sport crossover is smoking for now as rental fleets expand their 2012 models. GM sold 2,915 Captiva Sports last month, giving it 5,550 since sales began in October. The vehicle is assembled in Mexico.

The Captiva Sport is marketed to fleets as an alternative to the hot-selling Equinox, which understandably Chevrolet prefers to sell retail. Chevy has racked up 175,079 Equinox sales for the year, a 37.6 percent boost over last year.

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