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GM, Chrysler, Toyota June U.S. Sales Up; Ford Down


General Motors Co. (GM), Chrysler Group LLC and Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) all reported higher U.S. vehicles sales for the month of June, while Ford Motor Co. (F) reported a 6% drop compared to last year.

GM, the largest U.S. automaker, said that its June U.S. sales grew 1% to 267,461 vehicles from 264,843 vehicles in the same month last year.

The automaker said this was its best June sales since 2007.

There were 24 selling days for June 2014, compared to 26 for last year.

Retail sales for the month were up 1%, while fleet sales were up 2%.

Among GM's four brands, Chevrolet sales fell 2.5% to 188,567 units, GMC sales rose 10.6% to 43,550 units, Cardillac sales grew 0.1% to 13,941 units, while Buick sales increased 18.4% to 21,403 units.

"June was the third very strong month in a row for GM, with every brand up on a selling-day adjusted basis," said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of Sales Operations. "In fact, the first half of the year was our best retail sales performance since 2008, driven by an outstanding second quarter."

GM's strong sales performance continued despite a series of recalls announced by the automaker recently. Of course, the recalls had a telling effect on the company's first quarter profit that plunged 82% from last year, mainly hurt by the hefty recall-related charge.

GM has recalled 29 million vehicles so far this year, due largely to defective ignition switches. The automaker faces multiple probes for its slowness in calling back about small cars with ignition issues linked to at least 13 deaths. The company expects to take a charge of up to about $1.2 billion further in the second quarter for the cost of recall-related repairs announced in the quarter.

Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford said it sold 222,064 vehicles in the U.S. in June, down 5.8% from 235,643 vehicles sold in the same month last year. For May, Ford had reported a 3% increase in U.S. vehicles sales.

Ford's car sales declined 1.4% year-over-year to 81,198 units in June, while truck sales for the month fell 8.6% to 78,081 units and utility vehicle sales slipped 7.5% to 62,785 units.

Ford's retail sales for the month fell 5%, while fleet sales dropped 7% from a year earlier.

Sales of Ford's F-Series truck, America's best-selling truck for 37 straight years and the country's best-selling vehicle for 32 consecutive years, fell 11% to 60,560 units.

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 nineteen quarters. The company has also reinstated its quarterly stock dividend.

Chrysler Group LLC, which is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Italian automaker Fiat S.p.A. (FIATY), said its U.S. vehicle sales for June rose 9% to 171,086 units units from 156,686 units in June last year. This marks the 50th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains for Chrysler.

Total car sales for the month fell 19% to 39,665 units, while total truck sales surged 22% to 131,421 units.

Chrysler, which was once part of German automotive company Daimler AG, emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization in June 2009 and was bought by Italian automaker Fiat in a U.S. government-brokered deal. Fiat completed the 100% acquisition on January 21, 2014.

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., a unit of Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. (TM), said its June sales rose 3.3% to 201,714 vehicles from 195,235 vehicles in the same month last year.

For June, Toyota division sales grew 2.5% to 178,196 units, while Lexus division sales rose 10.1% to 23,518 units.

"Sales in the first half of 2014 indicate a steadily recovering industry, and we expect this pace to increase as we move into the second part of the year," said Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager. "In June, Camry and Corolla posted double-digit gains as passenger cars showed renewed strength industry-wide."

Among other automakers reporting U.S. sales Tuesday, Nissan North America Inc., a unit of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (NSANY.PK), said announced total U.S. sales for June 2014 of 109,643 units, an increase of 5.3% over the prior year's 104,124 units. Total car sales for the month grew 12.9% to 69,278 units, while total truck sales declined 5.6% to 40,365 units. Nissan Division sales increased 6.4% for the month, sales of Infiniti vehicles slipped 5.9% from last year.

GM shares are currently trading at $37.39, up $1.09 or 3.00%, while Ford shares are currently trading at $17.17, down 7 cents.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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