Even as the price of gasoline rises, the six big car makers that dominate the U.S. market, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. N.V. Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Toyota Motor Co., American Honda and Nissan, all reported sales increases for June with the help of strong sales of trucks and utility vehicles.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. reported June 2018 sales of 202,264 vehicles, an 8% increase compared with sales in June 2017.
Overall sales were bolstered by both the Jeep and Ram brands, which reported significant increases for the month. FCA had the best retail sales in June sales since 2004. Fleet accounted for 23% of total sales, a 1% decline from the previous year.
Ford Motor Co.’s June U.S. sales increased by 1.2% in June. Ford’s June fleet sales dropped 2.3%. The industry shift to trucks and SUVs plays into the company’s strengths, Ford trucks, SUVs, commercial and Lincoln all posting gains for the month, according to Mark LaNeve, vice president of sales, service and marketing.
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“As leaders in truck and SUV sales, the Ford brand had an incredible first half with almost 1 million sold. F-Series has posted gains for 14 consecutive months, while Ford SUVs posted a new record June sales month and Transit sales gain 25%,” LaNeve said.
“Our all new Lincoln Navigator continues as the hottest new product in the country, with triple digit gains in the first half.”
General Motors, which no longer reports sales on a monthly basis, reported its sales increased 4.6% for the quarter ending June 30. Strong truck sales and a wave of all-new crossovers helped boosted as second quarter sales at Chevrolet and GMC grew by 6% and 7%, respectively. GM’s struggling Cadillac brand also saw its sales increase 3%.
“Customers are buying with confidence because the economy is strong, and they expect it to remain strong,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president, Sales Operations.
“GM is in a fantastic position with so many new crossovers at all four of our brands, the industry’s only three-truck pickup strategy and clear leadership in large SUVs,” he added.
Toyota Motor North America sales were up 3.6% on volume basis and down 0.3% on a daily selling rate basis. Toyota division posted June 2018 sales of 185,852 units, up 4.4% on a volume basis and up 1.9% on a DSR basis.
Lexus posted June sales of 23,750 units, down 2.6% on a volume basis and down 6.2% on a DSR basis.
For the first half of the year, TMNA reported a sales increase 3% on a volume basis versus the same period in 2017. On a DSR basis, sales were up 1.6% versus last year.
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“Record June light truck sales, led by RAV4 and Highlander, solidified Toyota as the No. 1 selling retail brand through the first half of this year,” said Andrew Gilleland, vice president of sales operations, Toyota division.
“Strong consumer demand on Toyota Camry, the excitement of the all-new 2019 Toyota Avalon and Corolla Hatchback, paired with excellent light truck availability sets us up for continued strong sales throughout the summer.”
American Honda also reported a 4.6% sales increase for June thanks to booming sales of its trucks and utility vehicles.
“Honda and Acura light trucks delivered strong results in June,” said Henio Arcangeli Jr, senior vice president of the American Honda Automobile Division.
“The all-new Acura RDX arrived in showrooms in June and wasted no time in getting off to a record start, delivering its best sales month in the model’s 13-year history. For the Honda brand, Pilot and CR-V were standouts in the month as steady inventory levels nationwide helped our dealers meet increasing customer demand for our light truck offerings. We’re also pleased to see the all-new, 55-mpg-rated Honda Insight deliver a strong first weekend since going on sale on June 29,” he said.
Nissan Group announced an increase of 1% compared to the previous year, which included an increase of 2.5% by the Nissan division.
Volkswagen and Audi also reported sales increases for June. Audi said sales increased 0.3% while Volkswagen reported a 5.7%. With 172,898 units delivered year-to-date in 2018, the company is reporting a 7.2% increase in year-over-year sales.
“The first half of 2018 has been encouraging,” said Derrick Hatami, executive vice president of sales, marketing and after sales for Volkswagen of America.
“Helped once again by robust demand for SUVs and trucks, average transaction prices were up a solid 2% in June 2018,” said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book.
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“The mix of light trucks is estimated to be at 69%, up from 64% just one year ago. Last month was particularly strong for pickup trucks, as full-size truck prices rose 5% on new models and richer trim mixes. The underlying strength of trucks is best represented by the midsize truck segment, which despite no new products, saw prices climb 3%,” Fleming added.