U.S. light-vehicle deliveries in June rebounded from May’s decline on a seasonally adjusted annual basis, while volume surged from year-ago results.

June's sales volume of 1.281 million averaged 47,460 units over the month’s 27 selling days, up 17.6% from prior-year’s 40,344 over 26 selling days.

The strong gain was expected, as last year’s deliveries were limited by lack of inventory, mainly from Japanese auto makers that were constrained by the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in the spring.

June’s 14.1 million-unit SAAR was an improvement on May’s 13.7 million and June 2011’s meager 11.5 million. May was a disappointment, because sales had been tracking at 14.5 million for the year through April.

The SAAR for first-half 2012 was 14.2 million units, compared with like-2011’s 12.5 million.

Due largely to their poor results last year, Toyota, Honda and Nissan saw robust sales gains from year-ago in June. Toyota’s deliveries soared 54.3%, followed by Honda’s 43.3% gain and Nissan’s 23.5% rise.

Among the major auto makers, Chrysler’s June sales grew 16.1% compared with like-2011, its 27th straight gain. Its first-half deliveries climbed 30.2%.

Year-on-year comparisons will continue to look weaker in the year’s last six months, but only because Chrysler will be up against its hefty second-half 2011 results, when its average gain per month was 30%.

Among other high-volume players, General Motors’ June deliveries rose 11.2% and Ford posted a 3.3% increase.

Industry volume for first-half 2012 totaled 7.249 million units, up 14.9% from year-ago’s 6.310 million. It was the highest January-June result since 7.384 million in 2008.

U.S. dealer light-vehicle inventory ended June at an estimated 2.674 million units, up 22.1% from like-2011. June’s days’ supply is estimated at 56 compared with prior-year’s 54.

hstoddard@wardsauto.com