Car Makers Post Hot First-Half U.S. Sales

This July 14, 2010, file photo shows Cadillac CTS vehicles being displayed outside the LaFountaine Cadillac in Highland Township, Mich. General Motors’ safety crisis worsened on Monday, June 30, 2014, when the automaker added 8.2 million vehicles to its huge list of cars recalled over faulty ignition switches. The latest recalls cover seven vehicles, including the Chevrolet Malibu from 1997 to 2005 and the Pontiac Grand Prix from 2004 to 2008. The recalls also cover a newer model, the 2003-2014 Cadillac CTS. GM said the recalls are for “unintended ignition key rotation.” (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
This July 14, 2010, file photo shows Cadillac CTS vehicles being displayed outside the LaFountaine Cadillac in Highland Township, Mich.  General Motors’ safety crisis worsened on Monday, June 30, 2014, when the automaker added 8.2 million vehicles to its huge list of cars recalled over faulty ignition switches. The latest recalls cover seven vehicles, including the Chevrolet Malibu from 1997 to 2005 and the Pontiac Grand Prix from 2004 to 2008. The recalls also cover a newer model, the 2003-2014 Cadillac CTS. GM said the recalls are for “unintended ignition key rotation.” (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
This July 14, 2010, file photo shows Cadillac CTS vehicles being displayed outside the LaFountaine Cadillac in Highland Township, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

 

(Wall Street Journal) – Several top auto makers posted higher U.S. sales in June, capping a fast-paced first half of the year and prompting many industry analysts to lift annual light-vehicle-sales forecasts.

Aided by one more selling day than the prior-year period, six of the top seven selling auto makers in the U.S. reported gains. General Motors Co., which had a decline in sales to rental fleets, was alone in reporting a decline as June volume fell 3% to 259,353 vehicles.

The strong start to the summer selling season is a welcome trend for an auto industry combating slowdowns in other parts of the world. While India and Western European volumes are solid, growth has slowed in China while other emerging markets—notably Brazil and Russia—are stuck in a tailspin.

American car buyers have long been among the most valued in the world by auto makers, as higher transaction prices and demand for bigger vehicles make sales more profitable. The high concentration of sales of trucks and SUVs amid lower gasoline prices, combined with better capacity utilization and tighter inventory controls, has made the U.S. market even more lucrative during the current boom.

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