Fleet sales grew at a faster pace than retail volume in November, bringing both channels into balance as the year nears a close.
For the seven automakers that control 86 percent of the U.S. light-vehicle market, fleet volume climbed 8 percent in November. That compared with a 4 percent increase for vehicles sold through dealerships.
With fleet surging more than retail in five of the last six months, after a weak winter and spring, both sales channels are 5 percent higher through the first 11 months.
While overall fleet and retail growth is balanced as a group, it varies widely among individual automakers.
Ford Motor, Toyota Motor Sales and Chrysler Group have been reducing their reliance on fleet this year, but each reversed that strategy in November.
Chrysler fleet sales jumped 30 percent while retail climbed 18 percent for the month. Toyota gained 5 percent on the fleet side and 3 percent retail, although its 11-month fleet volume remains in negative territory. At Ford, fleet rose 3 percent last month while retail fell 3 percent.
At General Motors, November fleet increased 11 percent and retail 5 percent. For the year-to-date, GM fleet is up 7 percent and retail 3 percent.
Nissan North America and Hyundai-Kia have increased fleet volume more than retail this year, but they reversed that in November, with Nissan fleet down 27 percent and Hyundai-Kia down 4 percent. American Honda has no central fleet office. Automotive News estimates its fleet is 2 percent of sales.