Counting Cars

June LV Sales Indicate Slow Recovery

DSR %CHange Vs Yr. Ago

GM: +11.9%; Toyota: +6.8%; Ford: + 13.6%; Chrysler: +35.7%; Mercedes/Smart: +20.2%; Nissan: +10.8%; Subaru: +16%; Honda 6.2%; Hyundai-Kia 28.3%; Mazda: 32.8%; VW: 11.7%; BMW: 11.9%

See WardsAuto U.S. Sales Summary Table

U.S. Light vehicle sales failed to hit the 1 million mark in June, leaving the overall seasonally adjusted annual rate for the month at 11.1 million units, down significantly from May's 11.6 million SAAR.

With all but two companies reporting, U.S. light vehicle sales totaled just over 972,000 vehicles. Estimated retail sales for the month equated to an 8.9 milllion SAAR, a number industry observers think is unlikely to rise during the summer.

GM daily sales are up 11.9% over year-ago - a modest increase over a the company's fifth-best month of 2009.

Though the company views the increase in pickup sales this month as a leading indicator of economic growth, it's unclear how far the commercial recovery is leading an "eventual" consumer recovery.

Consumer surveys have given mixed signals over the past month, but at least one survey indicates that the percentage of consumers contemplating a vehicle purchase in the next six months is at an all time low - indicating that annual sales may have a tough time rising much above 11.5 million units in 2010.

Chrysler Group LLC showed a whopping 35.7% increase in daily sales versus June 2009. But it's nothing to get to excited about: Sales would get worse later in the year, but at the time June '09's DSR was the company's worst in many decades. As it is, even with the over-one-third increase, Chrysler sold less than 100,000 vehicles in the month.

Ford daily LV sales were up 13.6% in June vs. year-ago, outpacing early reporters GM and Toyota, and paving the way for a likely gain in share by the end of the reporting day.

Honda improved sales 6.2% over last June, for another month of 100,000 plus deliveries, but it's daily sales rate was down 1% from last month.

Indeed, among the top seven sellers in the U.S., only Hyundai Group showed an increase in sales from May to June, with daily sales rising 3% over prior month, and 28.3% versus year-ago.

Among the smaller volume auto companies, Porsche stood out with sales jumping 137.4% over its anemic year-ago pace.

June deliveries brought YTD LV sales for the first half of 2010 to 5.6 million cars and light trucks, up 16.8% from the crisis-ridden 2009 results for the same period.

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Blogs and commentary about automotive data, industry trends, and the future of the auto industry.


John Sousanis

John Sousanis oversees WardsAuto data operations as Director of Information Content, and is Ward’sAuto sales analyst. Follow John on Twitter @CountingCars.  

Haig Stoddard

Haig Stoddard is a veteran automotive industry analyst. His current focus is North America production and longterm sales forecasting.
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