Automakers sold 1,404,434 vehicles during June in the U.S. making it the best month since 2007 before the reckless practices of Wall Street and the failed and costly experiment in deregulation of big business by the Bush Administration caused the Great Recession.
The resulting seasonally adjusted annual rate or SAAR of 15.96 million vehicles caught the auto industry by surprise and is troublesome for Michigan-based automakers who cut hundreds of thousands of jobs and shut plants during 2008 and 2009. They are now scrambling to increase capacity using forced overtime and the cancellation of vacations, which demeans workers and assuredly will cause recall and quality problems down the road.
Pick-up truck sales – predominately from the Detroit Three, who sold in total 141,000 pickups during the month, rose 22% from a year ago. Compact cars, where the Asians dominate rose 21%.
Nissan Motor with lavish incentives in place helped by the manipulation of the Yen by the Japanese government and thus far ignored by the no-jobs Obama Administration and the job destroying U.S. State Department) posted its best ever June performance with 104,000 units sold – up 21% from a year ago. The other two of the Japanese Big Three, Honda and Toyota also had strong months with sales up 17% (137,000) and 14.4% (195,000), respectively.
In June, offshore brands whose homeland defense is lavishly subsidized by U.S. taxpayers and workers thereby giving their automakers and workers an advantage, continued to hold a majority share of the U.S. auto market. Offshore brands held 53.5% market share overall, a slight decrease from the 54.1% share they held last month because of the pickup resurgence, but this was up from 53.1% in April. Total offshore brand sales for the month of June totaled 750,613 units, down from 781,743 sold last month, but up from 682,909 in April.
“As home prices rise and consumer confidence improves, we are seeing more and more consumers return to dealerships to replace their aging vehicles,” said AIADA President Cody Lusk.
Asian brands captured 44.1% of the U.S. auto market, down from 45.9% in June. With sales of 618,845 units, overall sales were up 9.5% compared to May 2012. European brands held 9.4% of the U.S. auto market in June, up from 9% in May. They sold 131,768 vehicles, resulting in a 6.7% sales increase compared to June 2012.
Detroit Three brands finished the month with 46.6% of the U.S. auto market and sales of 653,821 units, a slight increase over the 45.9% share they held in May.