U.S. Automakers Post Big Sales Gains in June

U.S. Automakers Post Big Sales Gains in June

Surprising Chrysler continues to gain momentum.

U.S. automakers posted big sales gains in June amid strong demand for their more fuel-efficient vehicles, with Chrysler sales jumping 30%, Ford up 14% and General Motors up 10%.

Chrysler marked its 15th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains and its best June since 2007, with sales of 120,394 vehicles. That helped boost its results for the first half of the year by 21% to 639,932 vehicles.

The Chevy Cruze led GM's 28% increase in passenger-car sales.
"This business is all about product and consumers are rapidly discovering everything we now have," Reid Bigland, Chrysler's sales chief, said in a statement.

"Each Chrysler Group brand is contributing to our success and driving our 46% retail sales growth."

Chrysler, which got back in the black in the first quarter of this year for the first time since emerging from bankruptcy in 2009, has completely revamped its product offerings and was one of the only big carmakers to post a sales gain last month.

Production Bouncing Back After Supply Shortages

Auto sales have taken a hit from supply shortages caused by Japan's devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami, but production has been ramping up rapidly and automakers said they expect sales to resume their recovery from the deep economic downturn.

"We believe that the recovery will go back on track," Don Johnson, GM vice president for U.S. sales, said in a conference call.

"We are not cutting our forecast."

GM's sales for the first six months of the year were up 16.8% at nearly 1.3 million vehicles after June sales rose to 215,358 units.

"The month caps a successful first half of 2011 for us in the U.S. market," Johnson said. "Our sales are up and we've gained share profitably."

Passenger-car sales rose 28% in June, led by GM's fuel-sipping Chevy Cruze.

Crossover sport-utility vehicle sales fell 2% while pickup truck sales were up 5% in June.

"Strong demand for Ford's fuel-efficient cars and crossovers continues, and we now are seeing truck buyers return to the market with significant appetite for our fuel-efficient V6 engines," said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president for U.S. sales.

June sales of 194,114 vehicles helped Ford post a 12% gain for the first half of the year with sales of nearly 1.1 million vehicles.

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