Healthy June Car Sales Give Auto Industry Momentum | Edmunds.com
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Healthy June Car Sales Give Auto Industry Momentum


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Just the Facts:
  • Strong June car sales are giving the U.S. auto industry lots of momentum going into the second half of the year.
  • "Once again, American consumers are shrugging off the noise out of Washington about the easing of economic stimulus and potentially higher interest rates, at least for now," said Michelle Krebs, Edmunds senior analyst.
  • General Motors, Ford and Chrysler reported increases in June sales.

DETROIT — Strong June car sales are giving the U.S. auto industry lots of momentum going into the second half of the year.

"Once again, American consumers are shrugging off the noise out of Washington about the easing of economic stimulus and potentially higher interest rates, at least for now," said Michelle Krebs, Edmunds senior analyst.

She added: "June is proving to be a great month for seeming opposites: small cars and utilities, as well as full-size pickup trucks."

Edmunds.com is forecasting June sales of 1,365,496 new cars and trucks, putting the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of sales at 15.5 million, up 6 percent from a year ago. That would be the best June since 2007.

General Motors, Ford and Chrysler reported increases in June sales.

GM said it sold 264,843 vehicles in the U.S. in June, up 6 percent compared with a year ago.

"America's families are better off than they were at the beginning of the year and they believe — with good justification — that the economic expansion is going to continue," said Mustafa Mohatarem, GM chief economist, in a statement. "Even moderate economic growth will be enough to keep the auto sales rate in the second half of the year at healthy levels around the mid-15-million-unit mark."

Among the GM highlights, the Chevrolet Cruze set an all-time monthly sales record and Chevrolet mini, small and compact car sales were up 66 percent.

Chrysler reported June U.S. sales of 156,686 units, an 8-percent increase compared with a year ago. The increase was led by a 23-percent gain at the Ram truck brand.

"The fundamentals for continued industry gains in new-vehicle sales remain intact," said Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales for Chrysler.

Ford said its U.S. June sales grew 13 percent compared with a year ago. Small cars, including the Ford Fiesta, Focus and C-Max, totaled 35,851, up 39 percent over last year and marking the best June small-car performance in 13 years. The Ford Escape posted its best-ever monthly sales, up 1 percent at 28,694. Ford F-Series sales were up 24 percent at 68,009 vehicles.

"In June, we continued to see strong demand across the entire lineup," said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service.

Toyota reported June sales of 195,235 units, an increase of 10 percent over June 2012.

"The auto industry led the economic recovery through the first half of 2013, kicking off a strong summer selling season, which we expect will carry into the second half of the year," said Bill Fay, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager.

Edmunds says: The conventional wisdom that the auto industry leads the nation into — and out of — a recession seems to be holding up.

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