Forecast groups expect 16-percent increase in US auto sales in June

Article by Anita Panait, on June 23, 2012

Vehicle sales in the U.S. are expected to grow 16 percent year-on-year for the month of June to 1.3 million units, according to J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. According to the forecasting groups, fleet customers like rental car companies will account for 21 percent of total sales. They also expect the annualized sales rate in US to rise slightly to 13.9 million units in June from 13.7 million annualized sales rate in May.

Although the June figure will be higher than in May, it will still be lower than the 14 million annualized sales that the US auto industry posted during the first four months of 2012 J.D. Power and LMC, which adjusts their percentage changes based on the number of selling days in each month, expects that total light vehicle sales will reach 14.5 million units in 2012.

Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC, said that although there are increased concerns on the macroeconomic environment and potential summer slowdown, the sales pace throughout the second half of the year will remain strong and stable. Although the demand for hybrid and electric vehicles has declined as pump prices have continued to fall since April, they are expected to account for 3.2 percent of auto sales in 2012.

LMC said that many carmakers are logging year-over-year retail sales gains in June while maintaining strong new-vehicle prices. Average incentive levels in June 2012 were up 9 percent from June 2011 but down 5 percent from May 2012. The current US market situation points to a healthy US auto industry, according to LMC.

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