Friday's June car sales report set the stage for what is expected to be a robust second half of the year in showrooms for the U.S. auto industry.
"The industry may not be growing as fast as in recent years but, at the halfway point of 2016, it's still on pace to set another annual sales record," says Edmunds.com Director of Industry Analysis Jessica Caldwell. "As long as economic conditions — like low unemployment and easy access to credit — continue, the industry will be in a strong position through the busy summer sales months."
Fiat-Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Hyundai and Nissan posted gains in June, driven by strong truck and SUV sales.
Fiat-Chrysler reported U.S. sales of 197,073 units, a 7 percent increase compared with sales last June.
"In spite of some severe stock market volatility in June, the American consumer stayed focused on buying new vehicles," said Reig Bigland, Fiat-Chrysler North America senior vice president of U.S. sales, in a statement.
Ford posted a sales gain of 6 percent in June, with 240,109 vehicles sold.
"Ford truck performance remains the standout for the first half of the year," the company said in a statement.
Truck sales jumped 24 percent in June, driven by strong Ford F-Series sales. Ford Escape sales rose 20 percent, largely on the strength of the 2017 model.
Nissan notched a 13 percent sales increase in June compared to a year ago. The Nissan Rogue SUV set a monthly record with sales of 29,246.
American Honda reported June sales of 138,715 Honda and Acura vehicles, for a 3.2 percent increase over last June. Honda said it set a new June record for trucks.
"Sales of CR-V reached a new all-time June record, while Pilot and Odyssey each made notable gains for the month and the all-new 2017 Ridgeline got off to a strong start in its first weeks on the market," Honda said in a statement.
Honda dealers sold 2,472 2017 Ridgeline pickup trucks in just one week on the market.
General Motors reported total sales in June were down 1.6 percent. The bright spots in the GM report included the Chevrolet Sonic small car, which had its best June ever, and the Cadillac Escalade, with sales up 21 percent in June.
GM said it "expects better availability of midsize pickups, full-size pickups and small, compact and midsize crossovers in the second half of the year due to planned production schedules."
Hyundai tweeted: "It's a record-setting June with 67,511 sales (of cars and light trucks)." More details were expected later.
Volkswagen, which is still reeling from the ongoing diesel-emissions crisis, bucked the overall positive sales trend in June, reporting that sales plummeted 21.8 percent.
However, the Volkswagen Tiguan SUV produced the best June results on record for the vehicle with 3,066 sold, a 17.7 percent increase over June 2015.
"We are also pleased to see the GTI deliver a strong performance with the best June ever," said Mark McNabb, VW of America chief operating officer, in a statement.
Edmunds says: Car shoppers were in a buying mood in June, a trend that's likely to continue during the hot summer selling season.