The Big Three U.S. automakers reported strong domestic sales for June, capping a solid first half of the year despite the still-weak economy.
General Motors, Ford and Chrysler all reported a steady rise of U.S. sales year-on-year despite the economy's second-quarter soft spot, with GM's and Chrysler's increases in double digits.
General Motors (IW 500/5) reported June U.S. sales of 248,750 vehicles, up 16% 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 scored a 32% increase in Chevrolet Malibu sales and a 21% increase in Buick LaCrosse sales.
"Across the board, June was a strong month for GM," said Kurt McNeil, vice president for U.S. sales operations.
"The combination of new products, available credit, lower fuel prices and modest economic growth was a stronger influence on consumer behavior than economic and political uncertainty."
Chrysler sales improved by 20% as the automaker posted its best June figures in five years -- 144,811 units -- and its second quarter was 24% higher than the same period in 2011.
Jeep-brand sales were up 23%, 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 U.S. sales.
Ford Motor (IW 500/6), the only one of the Big Three to survive the 2008 economic crash without a government bailout, reported a more modest 7% year-on-year gain with 207,759 vehicles sold.
Ford Explorer sales were up 35% from last year, and F-Series pickup truck sales were up 11%, topping 50,000 for the best June in five years.
Among other automakers, Nissan North America reported a 28% sales increase for June and Volkswagen of America reported a 34% sales increase for June.
TrueCar.com projected that Japanese rivals Toyota Motor Corp. (IW 1000/5) and Honda Motor Co. (IW 1000/23). would both finish the month with the highest transaction prices in several months.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012