CHICAGO The top
seven automakers in the United States sold nearly 1.21 million
vehicles last month, up 8.8 percent from 1.11 million in the
same month last year despite one less selling day.
First-half sales of
nearly 6.74 million vehicles were 7.6 percent higher than 6.26
million in the first six months of 2012, according to an
Sales by the
Detroit-area Big Three have been strong in 2013, with a
0.25-percentage-point increase in last months market
share vs. June 2012 and a 1.1-percent gain in the first
General Motors Co.
recorded its best sales month since September 2008, when the
global financial sector went into a tailspin.
"Among the many
positive factors at work in the economy are stable gas prices,
an improving job market and a stock market thats trending
up. This all goes a long way towards explaining why the latest
consumer sentiment and consumer confidence survey results have
been so strong," GM vice president of U.S. sales operations
Kurt McNeil said.
particularly full-size pickup trucks, are attracting premiums
in dealer showrooms compared with year-ago transaction prices,
Selling into the
rental industry, full-size sport utility vehicles are fetching
$2,000 more while incentive spending averages $500, for a tidy
profit of $1,500, Ed Peper, GMs vice president of fleet
and commercial sales, said.
GM isnt worried
prices will falter, either. Chief economist Mustafa Mohatarem
said that as "pricing is driven by the supply/demand balance,
demand is very strong and supply still remains somewhat
constrained, so the likelihood of any kind of a price
competition is pretty low at this time."
Both small cars and
full-size pickup trucks are leading the continuing sales
recovery at Ford Motor Co.
"We believe this
dynamic is likely to be in place for an extended period as
retail consumers continue to move toward downsizing their
vehicle choices and strong pent-up demand flourishes in the
full-size pickup segment, fueled by a larger cyclical recovery
driven by construction," Ford sales analyst Erich Merkle said.
"Full-size pickups represented about 12.2 percent of industry
(sales) in June, with the segment posting an estimated
24-percent increase over last year."