Consumers are buying cars. Major auto companies have reported very encouraging sales numbers for November. Some believe that people are replacing vehicles they held onto during the economic downturn.

Is it a sign that consumers are more confident in spending again?

Chrysler, Ford, Nissan and Hyundai were among the companies reporting double-digit gains from last November, which is normally a lackluster month because of colder weather and holiday distractions. This November, buyers were lured by good deals, improving confidence in the economy and the need to trade in older cars.

“Consumers are just starting to say ‘it’s time to start spending money again,’ ” says Larry Dominique, executive vice president of data for the TrueCar.com automotive website.

[ via The Washington Post ]

Toyota sales rose 7 percent while Chrysler Group LLC saw a 45 percent jump over last November. GM's compact Chevrolet Cruze sales climbed 64 percent, Ford sales grew by 13 percent.

Flooding in Thailand forced Honda to slow production, their report showed a 10 percent drop in November sales.

Nissan sales jumped 19 percent, Hyundai climbed 22 percent and Volkswagen reported a 41 percent increase according to the reports released Thursday.