Demand for trucks propped up U.S. sales gains for Nissan, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, Hyundai-Kia and American Honda as deliveries in June bounced back after a decline in May.
Overall, the industry reported sales of 1.5 million new vehicles, a 2.5 percent increase over the same month a year ago. The June numbers fell short of forecasts from analysts at Kelley Blue Book, LMC Automotive and TrueCar, all of which had predicted a year-over-year rise of as much as 5 percent.
June sales highlights include:
- FCA saw June deliveries rise 6.5 percent on a 17 percent jump in demand for Jeep vehicles to 83,691 units. Sales of its Ram brand were up 14 percent and 3.1 percent for Dodge but down 20 percent for Chrysler and 19 percent for Fiat.
- Ford sales were up 6.4 percent, boosted by a 29 percent surge in sales of the F-150 series pickup trucks to 70,937 units and strong demand for the Escape crossover which was up 20 percent to 29,003 vehicles. Lincoln posted a 5.8 percent increase to 8,809 vehicles.
- GM deliveries declined 1.6 percent to 255,210 units for the fourth month this year, pulled down by drops of 8.6 percent at GMC and 5.5 percent at Buick. Cadillac sales were up 5.5 percent while Chevrolet posted a marginal 0.1 percent gain.
- Honda posted sales of 138,715 vehicles, up 3.2 percent on demand for its light trucks. Volume gains of the Honda brand up 7.1 percent were offset but a drop of 27 percent at Acura.
- Nissan reported June record sales of 129,495 units, up 13 percent. Luxury division Infiniti reported an increase of 11 percent to 11,058 vehicles.
- Subaru sales were up 5.1 percent, setting a June sales record of 46,598 vehicles and marking the 55th consecutive month of gains.
- Volkswagen sales dropped 22 percent to 23,809 for the eight straight month of declines.
Automakers and analysts anticipate strong sales for the second half of the year, citing low interest rates, inexpensive gas prices and the strength of the economy as performance indicators.