US: June new car sales still on the rise image

Both industry observers and company executives seem to agree that even though the sales gains have now slowed, the numbers in June will ultimately come out positive, even as the rising price of gasoline looms.

Early total month number estimates put the rise in June at a very small 1% – though we should note the pace has been on the rise constantly in the last years, so the basis is high – with a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate of sales, or SAAR, seen at 16,4 million cars for the whole 2014.

“Sales have been very good,” said David Zuchowski, president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Motors America.

“The U.S. auto market is arguably in the best position and health it has been in since well before the Great Recession,” said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive. “Sales are robust and stabilizing above a 16-million-unit pace and are back in balance with production levels, keeping inventory in check.”

According to TrueCar, June’s sales could be tallied at 1.416 million vehicles, a rise of 1% over June 2013, with the SAAR of 16.4 million also growing 3.2% from the same month last year.

Among automakers, the main performers are expected to be Chrysler, South Korea’s Hyundai and Kia and Japan’s Toyota and Nissan. Those who are expected to post declines are General Motors, Ford and Volkswagen.