DETROIT, July 4 — The Big Three US automakers reported strong domestic sales for June yesterday, capping a solid first half of the year despite the still-weak economy.
General Motors, Ford and Chrysler all reported a steady rise of US sales year-on-year despite the economy’s second-quarter soft spot, with GM’s and Chrysler’s increases in double digits.
GM reported June US sales of 248,750 vehicles, up 16 per cent from a year ago and the company’s highest monthly sales since September 2008. Divisions Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac all reported double-digit increases.
GM, the largest US automaker, scored a 32 per cent increase in Chevrolet Malibu sales and a 21 per cent increase in Buick LaCrosse sales.
“Across the board, June was a strong month for GM,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president for US sales operations.
“The combination of new products, available credit, lower fuel prices and modest economic growth was a stronger influence on consumer behaviour than economic and political uncertainty.”
Chrysler sales improved by 20 per cent as the automaker posted its best June figures in five years, 144,811 units, and its second quarter was 24 per cent higher than the same period in 2011.
Jeep brand sales were up 23 per cent, their best June since 2007, with the Cherokee delivering its best June since 2005.
“Continuous improvement remains a key focus at Chrysler as we have steadily increased sales, improved quality, added production and created jobs,” said Reid Bigland, head of US sales.
Ford, the only one of the Big Three to survive the 2008 economic crash without a government bailout, reported a more modest 7.0 per cent year-on-year gain with 207,759 vehicles sold.
Ford Explorer sales were up 35 per cent from last year, and F-Series pickup truck sales are up 11 per cent, topping 50,000 for the best June in five years.
Among other automakers, Nissan North America reported a 28 per cent sales increase for June and Volkswagen of America reported a 34 per cent sales increase for June.
TrueCar.com projected that Japanese rivals Toyota and Honda would both finish the month with the highest transaction prices in several months. — AFP/Relaxnews