Chrysler said U.S. sales of its cars and trucks rose 20% in November, kicking off a round of sales reports experts say could be the best monthly results in 13 years for the overall industry.

General Motors reported a 6% increase with sales of 225,818 vehicles last month for the company’s best November sales in seven years.

Ford sales were down 2% with sales of 870,000.

After healthy Black Friday car sales, experts predict the auto industry’s sales will be the highest monthly sales for November since 2001 as automakers report sales throughout today.

GM estimates that the seasonally adjusted annual selling rate for light vehicles in November was 17.1 million, the highest November SAAR since 2003. So far this year, sales are running at a 16.5 million units, which is the upper end of the 16.0 million – 16.5 million range GM forecasted at the beginning of the year.

Sales of the Chrysler 200 sedan, Ram pickups and the Jeep brand led the way for the Auburn Hills automaker.

“Sales of our all-new Chrysler 200 sedan were up a strong 155% in November, helping Chrysler achieve its 56th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains,” Reid Bigland, Chrysler’s head of U.S. sales said in a statement. “In total, we had 11 vehicles last month that set new sales records.”

By brand, sales rose 31% for Ram, 30% for Chrysler, 27% for Jeep, 1% for Dodge and 1% for Fiat.

GM said demand in November was robust for everything from smaller cars and crossovers to big trucks, The Buick brand had its best November since 2003; GMC sales were the highest for November since 2001.

The Silverado had its best November since 2006, up 57% while Ford F-Series sales were down 10%.

“The buzz around Black Friday helped drive strong showroom traffic but there was a lot more at work in the market,” said Kurt McNeil, head of GM’s sales operations. “More people have jobs and job security, their wages are starting to increase, household wealth is growing and low pump prices look like they’re here to stay through 2015. All of this helped deliver an exceptional month and it will help keep auto sales at very healthy levels going forward.”

For Ford, the new Mustang had its best November showing in eight years, said John Felice, head of U.S. marketing, sales and service. It is only staying on lots an average of eight days. Escape had record November sales, up 22% from last year.

Sales of the Lincoln brand were up 21%.

Results are expected to be stronger than a year ago even with one less selling day this month and fewer incentives than a year ago, according to the online car selling site TrueCar.

“Black Friday has established itself as the start of the final epic selling season of the year, and this year that season has started earlier than ever,” said TrueCar President John Krafcik. “Hard-hitting sales events, great new products, and receptive consumers are driving a 17 million (seasonally adjusted sales rate) in November. That’s terrific for the industry and a positive sign as we look to 2015.”

Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst at Edmunds.com, said sales of cars and trucks increasingly follow seasonal trends that are similar to the broader retail industry.

“In recent years both car shoppers and car dealers have turned toward Black Friday as an opportunity to dive into the holiday shopping season,” Caldwell said.

TrueCar analysts expect November results could be at a seasonally adjusted sales rate of 17 million with Chrysler, Honda and Subaru posting the largest gains.

Morgan Stanley researchers have forecast a 16.8 million sales pace.

Consumers are enjoying continued low interest rates and gasoline prices at a five-year low which is spurring sales of profitable larger vehicles.

There is also tough competition for pickup buyers as General Motors and Chrysler are promoting their trucks in advance of Ford’s new F-150 arriving in dealerships this month.

Contact Alisa Priddle: 313-222-5394 or apriddle@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @AlisaPriddle