Falling gas prices and rising demand for new vehicles drove sales higher than expected in June. According to numbers provided by AutoData Corp., the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) clocked in at 14.08 million units, up from 11.56 million a year ago.
Among international brands, Honda and Toyota led sales growth in June. Up 45.6 and 57.5 percent respectively, the Japanese manufacturers appear to be fully recovered from last year’s tsunami and subsequent production interruptions. Nissan’s sales were up 24.6 percent and Volkswagen saw a 34.2 percent improvement from June 2011. Incentives per vehicle were down from May, with each unit sold receiving an average of $2,187 in discounts.
“Demand for new cars isn’t softening,” said AIADA President Cody Lusk. “All indications are that the automotive industry’s recovery is both solid and lasting.”
Market Share Remains Steady
International brands maintained their share of the U.S. market in June, capturing 53.6 percent of the U.S. market. Although the share was down slightly from the 54.5 percent they held the previous month, overall sales showed a year-over-year improvement as international brands sold 688,794 vehicles; last June they sold 525,907 units.
Asian automakers held a 44 percent share of the U.S. market, down slightly from the 45.5 percent share they held in May of this year, but up more 34.4 percent over last June, which was at the height of production issues following Japan’s spring tsunami and earthquake. They sold 565,302 units. European brands sold 123,492 units totaling 9.6 percent of the market, up from 9.1 percent in May. They are up 17.4 percent over last June 2012 when they sold 105,206 units. Domestic brands finished the month with 46.4 percent of the market, selling 596,761 units; sales are up 13.2 percent over last June.
Asian automakers demonstrated their rebound as individual brands regained a strong share of the U.S. market. Toyota held a 13.8 percent share, up from the 10.5 percent share it held in June of last year. Honda had a 9.7 percent share, up from 8 percent. Nissan also experienced an uptick in market share, capturing 7.2 percent for the month, up from 6.8 percent last June.
Top 10 Reflects Falling Gas Prices
International brands occupied four of the top ten selling vehicle spots in June, down from five last month. Although the Toyota Camry maintained its lead as the top selling car in the U.S., it slipped to third place behind the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado pickups. As gas prices have fallen in recent weeks from their high earlier this year, sales of less fuel efficient vehicles have picked up.
The Honda Accord made a strong showing at number five on the list, followed by the Honda Civic in seventh, and the Toyota Corolla/Matrix in the eighth position. At number ten last month, the Honda CR-V dropped to the eleventh spot in June, although sales for the popular crossover were up 50.3 percent over last June.
The SUV/Crossover segment was up 23.7 percent in June, selling 387,597 vehicles. However, the mid-size car segment experienced the biggest improvement, with sales up 31.6 percent; it sold 331,599 vehicles in June. Pickup trucks were up 7.9 percent, selling 162,740 vehicles. Despite falling gas prices, the small car segment made a strong showing for the month, selling 237,839 vehicles and up 22.1 percent over last June.
AutoData Corp. estimated the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) at 14.08 million units, versus 11.56 million units a year ago. Sales for all brands, unadjusted for business days, rose 22.1 percent compared June 2012 and 14.8 percent year over year.