Automakers on Tuesday reported strong U.S. vehicles sales for the month of June, helped by easing gas prices, better credit availability and modest economic growth. General Motors Co. (GM: Quote) and Chrysler Group LLC reported 15.5% and 20% year-over-year increase in June U.S. vehicles sales, respectively. Ford Motor Co.'s (F: Quote) June U.S. vehicle sales rose 7% from a year earlier, while Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. (TM: Quote) reported a 60.3% jump in U.S. vehicle sales.
GM, the largest U.S. automaker, said its June U.S. vehicle sales rose 15.5% to 248,750 units from 215,358 units in the same month last year.
GM's passenger car sales in June were up 12% year over year, helped by a 32% jump in Chevrolet Malibu sales and a 21% rise in Buick LaCrosse sales.
Combined sales of all seven Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac crossovers were up 30% as compared to last year. Truck sales for June rose 11%, with improvements in pickup, van and SUV segments.
For June, GM's retail sales grew 8%, while fleet sales jumped 36% from a year earlier.
Kurt McNeil, vice president, GM's U.S. Sales Operations, said, ""Across the board, June was a strong month for GM. The combination of new products, available credit, lower fuel prices and modest economic growth was a stronger influence on consumer behavior than economic and political uncertainty."
GM maintained its outlook for full year 2012 U.S. industry-wide light vehicle sales in the range of 14.0 million to 14.5 million units.
Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford, the second largest U.S. automaker, said it sold 207, 759 vehicles in the U.S. in June, up 7% from 194,114 vehicles sold in the same month last year. For May, Ford had reported a 12.6% rise in U.S. vehicles sales.
Ford's car sales grew 0.3% year-over-year to 73,348 units in June, while truck sales increased 1.2% to 71,290 units. Utility vehicle sales rose 24.8% to 63,121 units.
Sales of Ford brand vehicles increased 7.2% to 200,215 units, while sales of Lincoln brand vehicles increased 2.5% to 7,544 units.
Among the utilities, Explorer saw a sales jump of 34.5%, while Escape set an any-month record - with sales up 28%.
June sales of Ford's fuel-efficient small car Fusion rose 17.4% to 24,433 vehicles, its best June sales ever.
Sales of Ford's F-Series truck, America's best-selling truck for 35 years in a row and America's best-selling vehicle, car or truck, for 30 straight years, increased 10.9% to 55,025 units in June. F-Series remains America's number one selling vehicle in the first half of 2012.
Ford was less ravaged by the recession than most of its peers. The company also did not have to restructure with federal assistance. The automaker has reported a profit for each of its last twelve quarters. The company has also reinstated its quarterly stock dividend.
Chrysler, which is majority owned by Italy-based Fiat SpA (FIATY.PK), reported that its U.S. vehicle sales for the month of June increased 20% to 144,811 units from 120,394 units in the same month last year. The company has now reported 27 straight months of year-over-year sales gains.
Chrysler's total car sales for the month surged 42% to 44,988 units, while total truck sales rose 12% to 99,823 units. The company attributed the sales growth to a strong triple-digit sales growth of the Fiat brand vehicles.
Earlier Tuesday, Fiat raised its stake in Chrysler to 61.8% from 58.5% by exercising call option.
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., a unit of Japan's Toyota Motor Corp., said its U.S. vehicle sales for June jumped 60.3% year-over-year to 177,795 units.
Among other automakers reporting U.S. sales Tuesday, Nissan North America Inc., a unit of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (NSANY.PK), reported June U.S. sales of 92,237 units, up 28.2% from 71,940 units a year earlier.
Total car sales for June rose 19.1% to 55,636 units, while total truck sales surged 45.2% to 36,601 units.
Nissan Division sales for the month increased 24.6% to 81,801 units, while sales of Infiniti vehicles were up 66.1% over the prior year to 10,436 units.
BMW Group (BAMXY.PK,BAMXF.PK,BMW.L) reported that its June 2012 total U.S. sales, which combined BMW and MINI brand, were 27,720 vehicles, up 3.2% from the 26,865 vehicles sold in the same month a year ago.
GM shares closed Tuesday's shortened trading session at $20.67, up $1.10 or 5.62%, while Ford shares closed at $9.60, up 21 cents or 2.24%.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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