November 2018 Car Sales Report: Ford Fiesta Up 72%, Mercedes Sweeps Luxury Brands

Mercedes-Benz swept most of the luxury segments last month. [Photo: Mercedes-Benz]

November 2018 car sales reports have been released – which manufacturers rose to the top last month?

While crossovers are a massively competitive market, passenger cars still account for several hundred thousand sales in the U.S. every month. In fact, U.S. automakers sold more than one million passenger cars in November 2018. But which automakers won the race? It really depends on how you slice the data.

In this comprehensive sales report, we cover all the sales numbers for every manufacturer in the U.S. each month. Sales are broken down by size segment (subcompact, compact, midsize and full-size). Models are also broken down into mainstream and luxury cars. Crossover sales are also available on, and truck sales are over on

Another important note: GM now reports sales quarterly. The next round of sales data for GM and its brands (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC) will be available in January 2019.

This post may be updated as sales figures are released.

Jump to segment:

Subcompact Cars (Winner: Ford Fiesta)

 While we were poking through this month’s sales, we came along an interesting revelation. The Ford Fiesta, as it turns out, was the best-selling subcompact car in November 2018. Wait, what?

Make Model Nov 2018 Sales Nov 2017 Sales MoM change
Ford Fiesta 5,238 3,035 72.6%
Nissan Versa 5,122 7,274 -29.6%
MINI Cooper/S 2,353 4,038 -41.7%
Hyundai Accent 1,957 3,624 -46.0%
Kia Rio 1,671 1,533 9.0%
Mitsubishi Mirage 1,522 1,208 26.0%
Toyota Yaris sedan** 1,296 2,549 -49.2%
Fiat 500 707 782 -9.6%
Honda Fit 678 2,799 -75.8%
Toyota Yaris hatchback 140 202 -30.7%

**Includes Yaris iA sales.

Compact Cars (Winner: Honda Civic)

We’ve consistently mentioned that sedans are hurting in the marketplace, and the numbers bear that out. Take the Honda Civic, for example. Yes, it still came out ahead of the Toyota Corolla sedan last month. However, its sales dropped by a massive 29.8 percent from November 2017.

It’s not just Honda, either. With the exception of a few notable examples, sedan and hatchback sales are down as buyers move to much more popular crossovers. Mind you, the redesigned Kia Forte and Volkswagen Jetta fared better

Make Model Nov 2018 Sales Nov 2017 Sales MoM change
Honda Civic 21,890 31,181 -29.8%
Toyota Corolla sedan 19,376 17,864 8.5%
Hyundai Elantra 18,148 19,060 -4.8%
Nissan Sentra 12,721 17,565 -27.6%
Kia Forte 9,756 8,363 16.7%
Volkswagen Jetta 9,207 8,362 10.1%
Subaru Impreza 5,481 6,684 -18.0%
Ford Focus 4,481 13,226 -66.1%
Mazda Mazda3 3,974 4,708 -15.6%
Volkswagen Golf** 2,488 4,276 -41.8%
Toyota Corolla  hatchback 1,729 1,423 21.5%
Hyundai Veloster 853 781 9.2%
Volkswagen Beetle 548 1,066 -48.6%

**Includes sales of the standard Golf, GTI, Golf R and Golf SportWagen/Alltrack.

Mid-size Cars (Winner: Toyota Camry)

The Honda Accord and Toyota Camry have duked it out for years and years. Each month is a chance for one to take the crown from the other, and the Accord almost managed it in November. The Toyota Camry’s sales fell by a whopping 29.9 percent – a similar fate to the Honda Civic. The Civic’s bigger brother, on the other hand, held its ground compared to November 2017. Its sales picked up 1.6 percent from this point last year.

Other models in the segment fell as well, including the slow-selling Kia Optima, Subaru Legacy and Volkswagen Passat. The Mazda6, on the other hand, did pick up 20.2 percent from November 2017. The Ford Fusion picked up as well, and a refreshed 2019 model ought to make it feel a bit fresher before its inevitable demise.

You may notice the Kia Stinger at the bottom of the list. A 6,800 percent increase truly sticks out. However, the new Stinger had only just gone on sale late last year, so that rise isn’t really that surprising.

Make Model Nov 2018 Sales Nov 2017 Sales MoM change
Toyota Camry 24,545 34,991 -29.9%
Honda Accord 23,367 22,998 1.6%
Ford Fusion 16,652 14,901 11.8%
Nissan Altima 12,077 19,073 -36.7%
Hyundai Sonata 8,173 7,982 2.4%
Kia Optima 6,669 8,154 -18.2%
Subaru Legacy 2,903 3,245 -10.5%
Volkswagen Passat 2,156 3,140 -31.3%
Mazda Mazda6 1,984 1,651 20.2%
Kia Stinger 1,173 17 6,800.0%


Full-size Cars (Winner: Dodge Charger)

It’s no secret that the full-size car market is sparsely populated these days. That hasn’t stopped companies like Toyota and Nissan from refreshing their range-topping sedans, however. The new Avalon is a good car in its own right, and the Maxima will see some welcome tweaks for 2019. We’ll have to wait and see if people take the Maxima, as its sales have slipped 59.1 percent.

Interestingly, sales of the Chrysler 300 have picked up by 54.8 percent over November 2017. It’s built on the same platform as the Dodge Charger, and the duo are the only cars in this class to still pack a V8 under the hood. Heavy incentives like $3,250 off a new 300 help drive sales, despite FCA’s aging LD platform.

Make Model Nov 2018 Sales Nov 2017 Sales MoM change
Dodge Charger 7,309 6,047 20.9%
Chrysler 300 4,569 2,951 54.8%
Nissan Maxima 2,530 6,193 -59.1%
Ford Taurus 2,247 2,146 4.7%
Toyota Avalon 2,225 2,453 -9.3%
Kia Cadenza 151 889 -83.0%


Subcompact Luxury Cars (Winner: Merceders-Benz CLA-Class)

Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

The Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class kicks off the luxury car sales figures. Last month, it led the Audi A3, Acura ILX and BMW 2 Series in sales. However, apart from the recently updated ILX, all cars in this segment lost ground from November 2017.

Make Model Nov 2018 Sales Nov 2017 Sales MoM change
Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class 1,832 1,884 -2.8%
Audi A3 1,759 1,929 -8.8%
Acura ILX 1,051 824 27.5%
BMW 2 Series 574 884 -35.1%


Compact Luxury Cars (Winner: Mercedes-Benz C-Class)

Are you noticing a pattern yet? While the CLA-Class doesn’t compete in a terribly crowded field, the C-Class is another story. This is the traditional stepping stone for most luxury car owners, and as such is one of the most competitive luxury segments around. The segment on the whole is down, owing to more popular luxury crossover sales. However, the Audi A4 picked up some steam, as did the fresh Alfa Romeo Giulia.

BMW’s 3 Series suffered in November, as the company introduced the new G20 generation model. The Infiniti Q50, Lexus IS and Lincoln MKZ were all down as well, but all those models are getting a bit long in the tooth by now.

Make Model Nov 2018 Sales Nov 2017 Sales MoM change
Mercedes-Benz C-Class 5,777 6,001 -3.7%
BMW 3 Series 3,218 6,181 -47.9%
Audi A4 3,185 2,879 10.6%
Infiniti Q50 2,819 4,289 -34.3%
BMW 4 Series 2,806 2,776 1.1%
Acura TLX 2,457 2,564 -4.2%
Lexus IS 1,830 2,458 -25.5%
Lincoln MKZ 1,440 1,939 -25.7%
Alfa Romeo Giulia 912 756 20.6%
Volvo S60 688 808 -14.9%
Genesis G70 128 N/A N/A
Jaguar XE Unavailable Unavailable N/A


Mid-size Luxury Cars (Winner: Mercedes-Benz E-Class)

Yep, it’s Mercedes again. The three-pointed star did well last month with the E-Class as well, as did BMW, Lexus and Audi. Porsche’s Panamera also picked up, while the rest of the segment suffered. Audi did just introduce a new A6, which in part explains the serious slump in sales over this point last year.

Other surprises in the segment include Volvo’s S90 which was down 70.9 percent from November 2017.

Make Model Nov 2018 Sales Nov 2017 Sales MoM change
Mercedes-Benz E-Class 5,181 4,735 9.4%
BMW 5 Series 4,271 4,002 6.7%
Lexus ES 4,222 3,911 8.0%
Audi A5 2,539 2,360 7.6%
Porsche Panamera 800 729 9.7%
Infiniti Q60 590 817 -27.8%
Lexus GS 472 739 -36.1%
Volvo S90 378 1,297 -70.9%
BMW 6 Series 266 351 -24.2%
Genesis G80 217 1,408 -84.6%
Audi A6 95 1,210 -92.1%
Jaguar XF Unavailable Unavailable N/A


Full-Size Luxury Cars (Winner: Mercedes-Benz S-Class)

Mercedes-Benz wins again with the S-Class, outselling every other high-end limo nearly 2-to-1. The latest generation Lexus LS also did well, as did the redesigned Acura RLX, selling 23.3 percent more than this point last year.

Models that didn’t fare so well are the Lincoln Continental, Audi A7 (again, there’s a new model) and the Genesis G90. While Genesis is building out its own dealer network, separate from parent company Hyundai, the company has slowed production on its cars, including the G90.

Make Model Nov 2018 Sales Nov 2017 Sales MoM change
Mercedes-Benz S-Class 1,672 1,803 -7.3%
Lexus LS 902 358 152.0%
Lincoln Continental 676 923 -26.8%
BMW 7 Series 603 788 -23.5%
Infiniti Q70 372 380 -2.1%
Acura RLX 159 129 23.3%
Lexus LC 139 280 -50.4%
Audi A7 106 504 -79.0%
Genesis G90 72 368 -80.4%
Kia K900 22 45 -51.1%
Audi A8 14 276 -94.9%
Jaguar XJ Unavailable Unavailable N/A

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