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Market Update : 
Record First-Half Auto Sales, Sale of SUVs Surpass Passenger Cars
Author: Mukesh Buch
Last Update: 3:59 AM ET July 05 2015

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11:50 AM New York Auto sales in June extended monthly sales growth and first-half sales reached a new record in a decade on low gasoline price, longer term loans and low interest rates. Consumers preferred larger vehicles and sale of trucks and SUVs continued to outpace passenger car sales.

U.S. auto sales in June jumped 3.9% to 1.48 million from a year ago month and in the first-half auto sales increased 4.4% to 8.52 million from a year ago period.

The first-half sales reached a new record in a decade on low gas price, easy availability of credit with low interest rates and longer repayment periods.

For example, Kia offered zero-percent finance for up to 66 months and up to $1,500 on Optima and Forte sedan. said the average amount paid for a new vehicle was $31,948, up 1% from a year ago.

The National Automobile Dealers Association forecasted U.S. auto sales in the year to rise to 17.2 million vehicles from 16.9 million.

Average gasoline price was $2.76 a gallon compared to $3.67 a year ago on July 1.

Kelley Blue Book said in June, the average price paid for a new vehicle in the U.S. increased 2.5% to $33,340 from a year ago period.

Total light vehicle sales in June rose 3.9% to 1,476,675 from 1,420,994 in the month a year ago.

In June, sale of passenger cars dropped 3.7% to 676,627 from 702,621 but light truck sales climbed 11.4% to 800,048 from 718,373 in the month a year ago.

Seasonally adjusted annual sales rate in June slipped to 17.16 million from 17.79 million in May but increase from 16.90 million in a year ago month, according to the data released by the industry researcher Autodata Corp based in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Three of the five largest automakers reported higher June sales, fourth reported average sales and fifth reported negative sales.

Nissan sales soared 13.3%, Fiat Chrysler sales climbed 8.2%. Sales at Toyota jumped 4.1% and Ford sales increased 1.5% while sales at General Motors declined 3%.

For the year so far, Fiat Chrysler sales climbed 6.1%, Toyota sales jumped 5.6%, sales at Nissan advanced 4.5% and at General Motors increased 3.4% while sales at Ford rose 1.8%.

Kia sales climbed 6.9%, Mazda sales gained 3.9% but sales surged 32.3% at Mitsubishi. Subaru sales in June jumped 7.2%. research team left its 2015 annual sales estimate unrevised at 17 million.

GM Sales Fall 3%, Ford Sales Rise 1.5%

General Motors (GM) sales fell 3% to 259,353 units from 267,461. Sales of light vehicles rose 5.3% to 176,091 from 167,259 and automobile sales plunged 16.9% to 83,262 from 100,202.

For the year so far, sales increased 3.4% to 1,505,545 from 1,455,868.

Ford Motor Company (F) said sales in June rose 1.5% to 224,681 units from 221,396 vehicles a year ago. Truck sales in the month decreased 4.7% to 146,733 from 140,198.

Sales of passenger cars decreased 4% to 77,948 units from 81,198 a year ago month.

In June, sales of Fusion dropped 8% to 25,409 units compared to 27,604 units a year ago. Fiesta sales surged 23.6% to 7,971 units and Focus sales declined 16% to 22,051 units from 26,266 units a year ago and utilities sales soared 11.7% to 70,143 units.

Escape sales in the month fell 3.9% to 24,126 vehicles but Mustang sales climbed 53.6% to 11,719 vehicles.

Explorer sales jumped 30.2% to 20,377 vehicles and Lincoln sales increased 14.5% to 8,326 vehicles.

Fiat Chrysler LLC sales in the month jumped 8.2% to 185,035 vehicles from 171,086 vehicles and rose for the 63rd month in a row.

Chrysler also reported its best June sales since 2006. Chrysler brand sales climbed 28% to 30,809 units, while Jeep sales plummeted 14% to 43,457 units.

Total truck sales jumped 6% to 138,777 units from 131,421 units a year ago month and total passenger cars sales soared 17% to 46,258 units compared to 39,665 units.

RAM pickup sales rose 1% to 33,332 units and sales of the Chrysler 200 surged 153% to 18,560 units. Jeep brand sales soared 25% to 71,529 units.

For the year so far, sales increased 6.1% to 1,082,143 units from 1,020,123 units.

Honda, Nissan, Toyota Struggle with Passenger Car Sales

Toyota Motor sales in June gained 4.1% to 209,912 units from 201,714 units in the same period a year earlier.

Passenger car sales slipped 6.1% to 107,873 from 114,853 units and light trucks climbed 17.5% to 102,039 units from 86,861 units in the same period a year ago.

For the year, sales jumped 5.6% to 1.23 million.

Honda sales in June rose 4.2% to 134,397 units from 129,023 units a year ago period.

Passenger car sales slumped 6.6% to 67,081 units from 71,791 units and sales of the light trucks climbed 17.6% to 67,316 units compared to 57,232 units a year ago month.

Acura sales soared 38.6% to 15,527 units and sales of Accord plunged 15% to 27,447 units.

For the year, sales increased 1.8% to 753,001 units from 739,436 units.

Nissan Motor Company vehicles sales in June jumped 13.3% to 124,228 from 109,643 vehicles in the same month a year ago. Year-to-date sales rose 4.5% to 736,483 from 704,477 vehicles.

Passenger car sales in the month gained 3.3% while sales of light trucks surged 30.5% from a year ago month.

Mitsubishi Motors vehicles sales soared 32.3% to 7,963 units compared to 6,021 units in the month of last year.

Sales for Mazda increased 3.9% to 27,223 units compared to 26,208 units in June 2014.

Subaru of America Inc sales in the month rose 7.2% to 44,335 vehicles from 41,367 vehicles a year ago period. Year-to-date sales climbed 14.5% to 272,418 vehicles from 238,008 vehicles.

In the month, sales of automobiles added 2.9% to 23,220 vehicles compared to 22,555 and sales of the light trucks advanced 12.2% to 21,115 vehicles jumped 18,812 vehicles a year ago period.

Hyundai Motor America sales edged up 0.1% to 67,502 units from 67,407 units. Sales of light vehicles climbed 10.6% to 14,052 units from 12,706 units and automobiles sales slid 2.3% to 53,450 units.

Kia Motors America sales in the month increased 6.9% to 54,137 vehicles from a year ago month.

Auto sales in June slid 1% while sales of light trucks soared 27.4% from in the same month a year ago.

Mercedes, Jaguar Land Rover Sales Rise 12%

Volkswagen Group of America Inc sales in June jumped 6.7% to 49,003 units from 45,935 units a year ago period.

Audi sales rose 8.3% to 18,262; Volkswagen brand sales gained 5.6% to 30,436 units while Bentley sales added 3.2% to 223 units. Lamborghini sales surged 228% to 82 units.

Mercedes-Benz USA unit sales in June increased 6.4% to 31,260 vehicles from a year ago month.

Maybach did not sell a single vehicle in the month and sales of the Smart branded vehicles climbed 15% to 774 vehicles from 673 vehicles a year ago period.

BMW of North America Inc sales in March jumped 7.8% to 38,427 units compared to 35,660 units in the same month a year ago.

Rolls Royce sales slipped 7.2% to 77 units from a year ago and Mini sales increased 14.8% to 6,174 units.

Jaguar Land Rover N.A. LLC unit sales in June advanced 10.5% to 5,860 units from 5,301 units a year ago. Land Rover sales climbed 15% to 4,643 units from 4,038 units.

Porsche Cars N.A. Inc sales in the month rose 2.9% to 4,223 vehicles from 4,102 vehicles a year ago period. For the year-so-far sales jumped 9.7% to 25,138 vehicles from 22,919 vehicles.

Sales of passenger cars in the month dropped 9.5% to 1,846 vehicles from 2,039 vehicles and sales of the light trucks soared 15.2% to 2,377 vehicles compared to 2,063 vehicles a year ago month.

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Sources: Data collected by and from company press releases, filings and corporate websites.
Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc.

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