J.D.Power and Associates and LMC Automotive announced July US auto sales will increase 20%, but the same as in June, at about 14.1 million.

The best sold models in July were the small and midsize sedans, expected to increase 28%, but all major model groups, except for mid-sized crossover SUVs, saw an increase in sales. If the analysts are right this would be the sixth time in the last seven months when sales will top 14 million. In 2011 total US auto sales reached 12.8 million.

Although July’s total sales will be the same as last month, sales of new vehicles will be about 115,000, or down 9% compared to June. But sales of new vehicles are helped by long-term and more available financing. This month 30% of the loans for new-vehicle sales were for at least 72 months, an increase from 27% in July 2011.

“Long-term financing is a key driver in sales growth,” said John Humphrey of J.D. Power. “Loan terms and credit availability are bringing consumers back into the market, who have been shut out since the recession began in 2008.”

Although J.D. Power-LMC predicted full-year light vehicle sales will reach 14.5 million units, Jeff Schuster of LMC said that this number may drop if the US labor market continues to weaken.


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