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June U.S. Auto Sales Hit Best Pace for the Month in a Decade

June U.S. Auto Sales Hit Best Pace for the Month in a Decade

By Philly Murtha, July 02, 2015

In June 2015, U.S. car dealers sold nearly 1.48 million new cars and light trucks, or 3.9%* more new vehicles than in the same month a year ago, based on automaker reports. Higher demand in June was due to improving indicators, including higher employment, attractive interest rates, reasonable gas prices, and a continuing stream of new products.

In June, SUV sales took most automakers' deliveries to new heights. It's likely that the industry's seasonally adjusted sales rate (SAAR) was the strongest for any June since 2005 (averaging 17.2 million units), in line with a forecast update from J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.

Among the Detroit Three, only General Motors posted a sales dip (-3%), while Ford Motor Co. (+1.6%) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (+8%) reported June gains. All Asian majors posted increases. Nissan Group's sales surged (+13%) and Toyota and Honda Groups reported 4% year-over-year increases. Hyundai and Kia's combined gain was 3%, up from last year's record total.

Among European automakers, BMW Group sales rose 7.8%, while Daimler AG and Volkswagen Group posted gains (6.4% and 6.3%, respectively). The independents also posted increases: Mitsubishi Motors (+32.2%), Subaru (+7.2%), and Mazda (+3.9%).

Auto brands posting the highest gains in June were (alphabetically): Acura, Chrysler, and Jeep, while those posting steep declines were Dodge, Fiat, and Scion.

Highlights: June 2015 Car Sales
Following are additional details regarding June auto sales for each major automaker:

American Honda--June sales rose 4.2% from a year ago for American Honda. Honda truck sales were up 18%, while car sales fell 11%, giving the Honda brand a slight 1% improvement. The CR-V crossover set a June record (+8.5%) and the new HR-V posted 7,700 unit sales in its second month on the market, while Odyssey van sales rose 6.5% compared with June 2014. The compact Fit hatchback continued to be popular (+26.3%), but high-volume Accord and Civic sales fell from June 2014. Acura bolstered group performance (+38.6%) with a June record for the RDX crossover SUV (+45.1%), while the brand's sedan sales more than doubled.

BMW Group--The BMW brand (+6.5%) commands the premium sales crown in June (32,176 unit sales). The 2 Series, 4 Series, and X5 enjoyed double-digit gains, although sales of the 3 Series fell nearly 10%. Mini rose by 14.8%, which resulted in a 7.8% gain for the group.

Daimler AG--Mercedes-Benz (+5.8%) sold 28,044 units in June 2015, which set another monthly record for the brand. Sprinter sales increased 11% (not included in the brand's tally). C-Class sales soared again in June by 48% from a year ago, and sales of the GL-Class rose nearly 21%. Smart car sales were up 15% for the month, to 774 unit sales.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA)--Seven models posted June sales records for FCA, which was up 8.2% in June. Jeep (+25%) and Chrysler (+28%) brands were the top performers. Ram sales edged up 2%, while Dodge (-14%) and Fiat (-30%) slumped. Jeep reported strong demand for the Cherokee, Wrangler, and Patriot, and an incremental gain from the new Renegade helped boost the brand's totals for the month. Additionally, Chrysler 200 sales more than doubled in June, compared with year-ago totals.

Ford Motor Company-- Ford's sales inched up 1.6% in June, to 225,647 units. Ford brand sales improved 1.2%, and Lincoln sales surged 14.5% due to demand for the new MKC crossover as well as the Navigator. Ford-brand SUVs were popular, led by a 30% gain for the new Explorer and new Edge, while early summer demand for the redesigned Mustang soared 54%, and Fiesta deliveries rose 23.6%. Sales of the F-Series pickup fell 9%, although Ford officials said the average transaction price for the new aluminum 2015 F-150 was more than $44,000 as the automaker continues to ramp up dealer stocks.

General Motors--The largest U.S. automaker sold 259,353 units in June 2015, down 3% despite double-digit gains for Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks. A GM official said GM curbed less-profitable fleet sales significantly in June. Only GMC (+8%) posted an increase. Sales fell for Buick (-18.1%), Chevrolet (-3.9%), and Cadillac (-3.1%). Although large pickup sales rose, deliveries dropped for GM's large SUVs, including the Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade.

Hyundai Group--Kia boasted best-ever June sales, up some 4,000 units from June 2014. Strongest performers during the month were the Forte and the redesigned Sedona minivan. Hyundai-brand sales rose by less than 100 units, with increases from two cars: Accent (+14%) and Elantra (+55%). Santa Fe sales surged 17%.

Jaguar Land Rover--Land Rover's SUV sales rose 15% in June, but Jaguar car sales fell 3.6%.

Mazda--Sales were the highest for Mazda since June 2002, according to the company. CX-5 sales increased 18%, while the redesigned Mazda 6 posted its highest June deliveries (+11.2%) in a decade.

Mitsubishi--According to Mitsubishi officials, June was the brand's 16th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Deliveries climbed 32.3% with gains from all five models--especially the Mirage and the Outlander Sport crossover SUV.

Nissan Group--Deliveries climbed 13.3% for the group in June 2015. Nissan brand sales rose 13% for a June record, with big gains for the Murano and Pathfinder crossover SUVs, and a 54% gain in Rogue totals. The Altima set a June sales record (+12.7%). Infiniti delivered 16.5% more premium vehicles in June than it did during the same month last year. Also, Q50 sport sedan sales were up 43.2%, and the Q70 (+61.7%) and QX60 (39.2%) shared major increases.

Subaru--Record June sales for the Forester, Outback, XV Crosstrek, and WRX/STI helped give Subaru a 7.2% gain over June 2014. Legacy sales surged 45%.

Toyota Group--Sales advanced 4.1% for Toyota Group in June, to nearly 210,000 units, supported by strong light-truck deliveries--including the RAV4, Tacoma, Highlander, and 4Runner--and an 11.1% gain from Lexus, which sold 26,121 units, including 8,000 RX Series deliveries. Lexus GS, LS, and GX sales also rose in June. Toyota's higher-volume car models--Camry, Corolla, and Prius lineup--all posted June declines. Scion deliveries dropped 16.8% from a year ago.

Volkswagen Group--Sales for the VW Group outpaced June 2014 by 6.3% with higher demand for the VW (+5.6%) brand's Golf, Jetta, and Tiguan. The group's Audi (+8.3%) and Porsche (+3%) brands also excelled. Porsche sales in June rose by 100 units year-over-year, with the biggest advance from the Macan crossover utility.

Volvo--Sales for Volvo were stable in June, with two more units sold than in June 2014 for the Swedish brand owned by China's Geely Group.

*Sales percentage changes are unadjusted. June 2015 had 25 selling days while June 2014 had 24.

Additional Research:

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