SUVs, muscle cars help auto industry maintain momentum

While Ford’s sales rose only 2 percent, it showed the largest increase in the market in the average price of its vehicles, industry consultant Kelley Blue Book said.

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Nissan Motor Co. has reported a 13% rise and Honda Motors Co. has witnesses a rise of 4.2%.

Automakers forecast strong gains in United States auto sales yesterday after solid sales in June capped off months of steady growth, reports BSS.

Chevrolet Silverado – 51,548, up 18.4%.

For Nissan, total vehicle sales only increased 3.2 percent, led by the Altima and GT-R while sales of the Versa fell 12.3 percent, the Cube fell 65.8 percent, and LEAF fell 11.6 percent. Relatively low gasoline prices and interest rates continue to drive up sales of sport utility vehicles and pickups, which favor the Detroit Three automakers that specialize in those big rigs.

For June, sales at FCA USA were boosted by a 28% increase for its Chrysler brand and a 25% surge for Jeep while Ram sales edged up 2%. Kia, for example, was offering zero-percent financing for up to 66 months and up to $1,500 on Optima and Forte sedans.

Nissan Division set a June record, with 114,243 sales, an increase of 13 percent.

After a dip in sales in May, Nissan Maxima sales were up 14.4 percent in the month after the introduction of the all-new, eighth-generation model.

Low interest rates and leasing are making it easier for many consumers to replace older cars with new ones and finance bigger loans to pay for plusher options and trim. Kia sales rose 3.6 percent.

Despite a strong performance by the auto industry overall, some companies saw their numbers dip: General Motors’s sales declined 3 percent, when analysts thought GM would have a 3 percent increase.

Ford sales rose 2 percent.

Ford said it had only half its normal inventory of F-150 on dealer lots in June and it will not have full supply of its most profitable product until the end of September. The largest USA automaker outsold Ford’s F-series in pickup sales, 70,166 to 55,171. “That rolls in over the next two to three to four months”. The group has reported 63 straight monthly increases. The country’s largest automaker General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), however, came out as one of the worst performers in June with sales dipping 3% on the back of lower sales to rental vehicle fleets.

GM said analysts may have not factored in to their expectations the automaker’s statement a month ago that its sales to rental agencies would fall 20 percent in June.

The shift to SUVs and a preference for fully loaded vehicles is drove up vehicle prices last month.

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The industry in June spent an average of 8.9% of each new vehicles selling price on rebates, discounted loans or lease subsidies, up from 8.7% in June 2014, TrueCar data showed. More transparency at dealerships and “greater availability of high-demand, high-margin crossover vehicles” are driving that gain, he said.

Fiat Chrysler sales up 8% in June as industry rises