Economy, Auto

US Auto Sales Slow in June

US Auto Sales Slow in June
US Auto Sales Slow in June

The pace of US auto sales slowed in June compared to a year ago, as slumping sales of sedans offset strong demand for pickups and sport utility vehicles.

The seasonally adjusted annual sales for June was 16.66 million, according to Autodata Corp, down from 17 million vehicles a year earlier. Sales fell for General Motors Company, Toyota Motor Corp. and Volkswagen.

GM, the biggest US automaker, said its sales fell 1.6% to 255,210 vehicles in June due to lower sales of Buick and GMC vehicles as the company continued to cut lower-margin sales to US rental car fleets, Reuters reported.

Ford, Fiat Chrysler and Nissan reported improved sales, mainly driven by demand for light trucks.

The latest results come as some industry forecasters are cautioning that US vehicle demand is settling on to a plateau, albeit at levels that are strong by historical standards. However, industry executives remain upbeat.

GM chief economist, Mustafa Mohatarem, said historically low interest rates, stable fuel prices, rising wages and near-full employment would drive strong auto sales in the second half. Ford Motor Company said sales rose 6.4% as it sold more trucks, while higher demand for the Jeep brand pushed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles sales up 7%.

"Consumer demand for Ford SUVs also continues to surge to all-time highs," Ford Vice President Mark LaNeve said.

Although the June results were below some forecasters' estimates, GM's shares rose 2% to $28.89 a share in trading on Friday. Ford's shares rose 1.2% to $12.72 and Fiat Chrysler's were up nearly 2% at $6.24. Toyota Motor's US-listed shares rose 1%.

Toyota reported a 5.6% fall in its June sales, primarily due to weaker sales of luxury sedans. German luxury automaker BMW suffered a nearly 12% sales decline in that country.