CHICAGO: Automakers forecast strong gains in US auto sales on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) after solid sales in June capped off months of steady growth.
“We just wrapped up the US auto industry’s best six months in a decade, driven by strong demand for pickups and crossovers,” said Kurt McNeil, head of sales at General Motors.
“People feel good about their jobs and the direction the economy as a whole is taking, so the second half of the year should be strong too.”
Total industry sales rose 4 percent in June and hit a seasonally adjusted pace of 17.2 million vehicles, according to Autodata. That is the fastest pace recorded in June since 2005.
Sales for the first half of the year were up 4 percent at 8.5 million vehicles.
Carmakers were cashing in. Average new car prices in June were $209 higher than in May and $821 higher than in June 2014, according to Kelley Blue Book.
Strong demand for trucks and sport utility vehicles, low interest rates and incentives continue to drive consumers into showrooms, said Mark Williams, an analyst at Kelley Blue Book.
“Auto sales continue to push higher and are slated to have one of the strongest years ever, at a forecasted 17.1 million,” he said.