Capped off months of steady growth

Automakers see big US gains after strong June

GMT 06:35 2015 Thursday ,02 July

Arab Today, arab today Automakers see big US gains after strong June

Total auto industry sales rose 4% in June
Chicago - Arab Today

Automakers forecast strong gains in US auto sales on Wednesday after solid sales in June capped off months of steady growth.

"We just wrapped up the US auto industry's best six months in a decade, driven by strong demand for pickups and crossovers," said Kurt McNeil, head of sales at General Motors.

"People feel good about their jobs and the direction the economy as a whole is taking, so the second half of the year should be strong too."

Total industry sales rose four percent in June and hit a seasonally adjusted pace of 17.2 million vehicles, according to Autodata. That is the fastest pace recorded in June since 2005.

Sales for the first half of the year were up four percent at 8.5 million vehicles.

Carmakers were cashing in. Average new car prices in June were $209 higher than in May and $821 higher than in June 2014, according to Kelley Blue Book.

Strong demand for trucks and sport utility vehicles, low interest rates and incentives continue to drive consumers into showrooms, said Mark Williams, an analyst at Kelley Blue Book.

"Auto sales continue to push higher and are slated to have one of the strongest years ever, at a forecasted 17.1 million," he said.

GM reported June sales fell three percent from a year ago to 259,353, largely as a result of a drop in fleet sales to rental-car companies. Sales for the first six months of the year were up three percent at 1.5 million vehicles.  

The largest US automaker said its retail sales grew seven percent to earn its highest June market share since 2011.

US rival Ford's sales grew two percent to 225,647 vehicles in June and were up two percent at 1.3 million vehicles for the first half of the year.

Ford drastically outpaced the industry in terms of average transaction prices. Ford prices grew by $2,700 from a year ago, largely thanks to its popular F-Series pickup truck, which hit a record average price of more than $44,000.

Fiat Chrysler posted its best June since 2006 as sales grew eight percent to 185,035 vehicles while sales for the first half of the year were up six percent at 1.1 million vehicles.

Toyota sales grew four percent to 209,912 vehicles in June and were up six percent for the first half of the year at 1.2 million vehicles.

Honda sales rose four percent to 134,397 in June and were up two percent so far this year at 753,001.

Nissan sales jumped 13 percent at 124,228 in June and were up five percent at 736,483 for the first half of the year.
Source: AFP

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