Sales of compact cars, light trucks, and even some luxury models drove automotive sales 7% in June compared to the same period last year. This despite the lack of aggressive discounts and incentives from dealers, the well-documented supply disruptions caused by the lingering effects of the Japan crisis, and lukewarm consumer confidence about the overall economy.
Following is a breakdown of how some automotive manufacturers fared during the month:
General Motors: +11%
Consumer demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles sparked sales for many automotive manufacturers, especially General Motors. For the month of June, the fuel-sipping Chevrolet Cruze had retail sales 153 percent higher than the Chevrolet Cobalt it replaced, and total sales above 20,000 for the third straight month. Likewise, the 32 MPG highway-rated GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox compact crossovers saw a combined retail sales increase of 78 percent last month. Passenger car and crossover retail sales also rose substantially, up 33 percent and 24 percent, respectively.
"With continued strong consumer demand for GM’s fuel-efficient vehicles, June was another solid month for us," said Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations. “The month caps a successful first half of 2011 for us in the U.S. market–our sales are up and we’ve gained share profitably.”
At Ford Motor Co., increases were also seen across the board. “We have balanced contributions from cars and utilities—that’s where we saw the biggest increases—but it was also nice to see all of the products in the truck category, from F-Series to Transit Connect, Ranger and the Econoline all post increases,” said George Pipas, Ford Motor Company Sales Analyst. “So, I think that is an indication that the economy still has some legs and that we’re still seeing some growth in the U.S. economy.”
Luxury automakers reaped the rewards as well. Audi, which had its best June record, sold more than 10,000 vehicles last month—that’s up nearly 17% over the same period last year. The achievement also markets the third consecutive month of units exceeding 10,000 in the U.S.
“Consumers are sending a strong signal that Audi holds a desirable position within the high-end sector of the luxury car market due to our exceptionally engineered models,” said Johan de Nysschen, president, Audi of America. “All indications continue to point toward 2011 winding up as one of the best years Audi has ever enjoyed in the U.S. market.”