Rising gas prices and unemployment numbers kept consumers away from dealerships this month, disappointing many who had hoped June would mark a turning point for the auto industry. Instead of reaching the ten million Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate forecast by analysts, the SAAR actually slipped from 9.9 million in May to 9.7 in June. Despite the grim news, dealers continue to remain optimistic that the recovering housing market and the government’s incentivizing Cash for Clunkers program will spark improvement in the remainder of 2009.
International Brands Maintain Market Share
According to numbers from Autodata Corp., international brands sold 469,713 vehicles in June, down from 501,096 vehicles in May, and 644,832 in June 2008. Asian brands accounted for 45.8 percent of the market, down from 46.2 percent in June 2008, and Europeans had an 8.8 percent share, up from 8 percent. Domestic brands finished the month with 45.4 percent of the market.
Top Ten Selling Vehicles Remain Steady
While there was some jockeying for position, the top ten selling vehicles in June 2009 were the same as last month. International vehicles held five of the top ten spots and 11 of the top 20 vehicles slots for the month of June.
Trucks vs. Cars
Consumers purchased more Asian cars in the month of June than domestic light trucks by a difference of 13,423 units. This trend began in March of this year and is expected to grow as international vehicle shares continue to rise. Purchases of small cars, like the Hyundai Accent and Kia Spectra, accounted for 20.5 percent of auto sales in June, up from 15.4 percent in June 2008.
Sales in June were the second best of 2009, behind May, which some analysts see as a sign of stabilization. In addition, three brands – Rolls Royce, Subaru, and Volvo – actually surpassed their June 2008 sales by 3.6, 3.4, and 0.6 percent, respectively.
See below for a complete breakdown of June 2009 monthly and year-to-date sales by international nameplate.