Sales of new cars and trucks continued to show, slight, signs of improvement during June. But anticipation of the new federal “cash for clunkers” program that starts in July appears to have slowed sales at the end of the month.
The sales rate dropped slightly from May to under 10 million units and back to about where they were in the bleak January period.
Carmakers said it appears some consumers postponed their purchases to take advantage of the federal cash. The overall economic conditions, particularly tight credit, also continue to weigh on the industry.
Thus, manufacturers continued to post double-digit sales declines right across the board as they have all year. General Motors reported a 33% sales drop, Chrysler said its sales declined 42%, while BMW’s dropped 20%, Mercedes-Benz -23% and Volkswagen sales fell 18%. Even Hyundai, which has gained market share during the first half of 2009, reported its sales dropped 24% in June. Porsche dove 66%. Bentley sagged 43%.
Subaru posted a modest sales increase of 3%, while Kia sales dropped a mere 5% and Audi’s declined 8%. Jim Farley, Ford’s sales and marketing czar, also expressed satisfaction with Ford’s decline of 11%, noting the company was gaining on rivals and it was getting more pricewise for its vehicles.