A healthy consumer confidence, fueled by a strong job and housing market, helped to offset growing gas prices leading to an increase in auto sales across the U.S. during June. Every major automaker reported rises when comparing figures from last month to those of June 2017, even General Motors, which no longer reports monthly sales, but posted a sales increase for its full second quarter.
According to AutoNews, 1.55 million new cars and light trucks were sold last month, that 5.2% up from June 2017 while total sales for the first half of the year were of 8.57 million units, an increase of 1.8%. Analyst firms projected smaller monthly gains such as Cox Automotive, which expected a 2.1% increase or Edmunds, which calculated a rise of 3.4%.
The seasonally adjusted sales rate (SAAR) for June totaled 17.47 million units, up sharply from a 16.91-million rate in May. The stronger-than-expected first half led Cox Automotive to increase its full-year sales forecast from 16.7 million vehicles to 16.8 million. IHS maintained its forecast at 16.9 million, still lower than last year’s total sales of 17.2 million.
The U.S. market is the main destination for Mexico’s auto exports with 68.1% of total shipments heading to the Northern neighbor during the first quarter, according to the latest figures available from the Mexican Automotive Industry Association (AMIA).
According to Ward’s Auto, Mexico-made vehicles accounted for 14.6% of U.S. auto sales in the first three months of 2018.
Auto dealers in Mexico sold 119,713 vehicles in June, a figure 6% lower than same month of 2017. This is the thirteenth month in a row with sales decline in a country where a sense of uncertainty caused by the Presidential election and the renegotiation of NAFTA has battered the consumers’ confidence.
Sales from January through June totaled 680,699 units, which represents an 8.4% drop compared to the same six-month period of 2017. This figure, however, is in line with a forecast by the Mexican Association of Auto Dealers (AMDA), which predicts total sales of 1.45 million vehicles by the end of year.
Canadian auto dealers sold 200,156 vehicles in June, a 1.6% decrease compared to same month of 2017, according to figures from DesRosiers Automotive Consultants. Total sales in the first half of 2018 were of 1.03 million units, which represents a 0.2% drop from the same period last year, the analysis firm said.
Year-to-date sales of light trucks increased 4.1% to 728,185 vehicles, while passenger car sales were down 9.2% to 308,492 units.
Canada is the second most important destination for Mexico’s auto exports with 61,721 vehicles during the first quarter of 2018, accounting for 7.4% of the country’s shipments. However, those figures represent a 5.8% decline if compared to the same period of 2017.
Ford Motor Company, currently the best-selling automaker in the country with a 15% market share, reported a 4.8% fall in sales to 31,179 units. From January through June the Dearborn-based automaker sold 155,570 cars and light trucks, down 2.9%. Such figures include the Lincoln brand.
General Motors, whose market share is just 0.1% smaller than Ford’s, sold 27,638 vehicles in June, up 1.8% from a year ago. Year-to-date sales of the Detroit automaker increased 3% to 154,937 units.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles sold 22,479 vehicles, which is a steep decline of 16.5% compared to June 2017. Its year-to-date sales were of 134,811 units, down 11.1%.
Toyota saw its June sales decline 1.1% to 20,833 vehicles. However, its year-to-date sales are still up 2.4% on 104,559 units. Its Lexus brand marketed 2,456 vehicles last month for total year-to-date sales of 11,501 units. Those represent a 3.5% increase and a 5.5% decline respectively.
Honda sold 17,006 vehicles last month, down 2.4%, while year-to-date sales totaled 90,833 units, up 0.8%. Its Acura sold 1,748 vehicles in June, which represents a 4.7% drop. With year-to-date sales of 9,560 units, the luxury brand is still up 2.1% compared to same period of 2017.
Nissan monthly sales were of 14,932 vehicles, up 0.9%, while its year-to-date sales totaled 70,611 units, which represents a 2.6% increase. Its Infiniti brand sold 1,398 vehicles last month, a 16.3% hike. Meanwhile, its year-to-date sales totaled 5,938 units, down 3.3%.
Volkswagen marketed 6,828 vehicles last month, up 3.1%, while its year-to-date sales totaled 33,122, representing a 16.8% hike.