DETROIT -- General Motors Corp.'s car and light truck sales were unchanged last month, missing forecasts on disappointing car sales. DaimlerChrysler AG's U.S. sales fell 2.7 percent as its aging minivan and pickup lines fell prey to rivals' redesigned models.
GM, the world's biggest automaker, sold 347,855 cars and light trucks, unchanged based on the daily sales rate.
Analysts had forecast a 4.4 percent gain. DaimlerChrysler, the No. 3 maker in the United States, said its Chrysler arm's car sales rose 3.3 percent while light truck sales fell 4.7 percent.
This year's industrywide sales have now almost equaled all of 1998 and are within two weeks of breaking the record of 16.03 million set in 1986, powered by rising consumer incomes, low unemployment and discounts.
Industry sales rose about 7 percent last month as Detroit automakers added discounts on 2000 models to counter gains by Asian and European rivals, auto analysts said.
Germany's Volkswagen said its sales of VW-brand cars rose 70 percent, its best November in 26 years, to 24,469 vehicles. Sales at its Audi luxury division rose 39 percent to 5,971 cars.
Toyota Motor Corp., the fourth-biggest automaker in the United States, said its sales rose 11 percent. U.S. sales rose 2.2 percent at Honda Motor Co. and 15 percent at Nissan Motor Co.
Japan's Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said it already beat its annual sales record of 230,279, set in 1994. Mitsubishi reported its best-ever month as its November sales almost tripled to 28,090 vehicles, boosted by its 2000 Eclipse sports coupe and Montero sport utility vehicle.
Sales at No. 2 automaker Ford Motor Co. are predicted to rise 2.3 percent when it reports today.
For GM's North American-built vehicles, car sales fell 6 percent while light truck sales rose 7.3 percent. Total sales, including imports and heavy trucks, rose 0.1 percent to 350,328.
DaimlerChrysler sold 194,716 vehicles, excluding the Mercedes-Benz division that reports separately from its Chrysler arm. Minivan sales fell about 6 percent, even after DaimlerChrysler boosted incentives to fight Honda's Odyssey and Nissan's Quest.
DaimlerChrysler's truck sales were also hurt by a 15 percent decline for the Dodge Ram full-size pickup truck and a 12 percent drop for the Dodge Dakota compact pickup.