Strong demand for trucks and SUVs lifted the U.S. new vehicle sales figures for top U.S. automakers in June.
General Motors Co., which stopped posting monthly figures beginning April, posted a 4.6% increase in sales for the quarter ended June. The Detroit-based car company sold 758,376 vehicles during the quarter. General Motors' sales were up 4.2% to 1,474,170 units for the first half of the year through June.
The gains were led by strong truck sales and a wave of all-new crossovers.
"Customers are buying with confidence because the economy is strong and they expect it to remain strong," said Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales operations at General Motors.
Ford Motor Co. said sales grew 1.2% for the month. The carmaker sold 230,635 units, compared with 227,979 units in the same period a year ago.
Sales of Ford SUVs rose 8.9%, while deliveries of trucks increased 3.2%.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV's U.S. unit said new vehicle sales surged 8% year over year to 202,264 units. The company sold 187,348 vehicles in June last year. Year-to-date, FCA's car sales totaled 1,115,476, up 5% from 1,067,362.
The company's Jeep brand notched its best month of June sales ever with 86,989 vehicles sold, compared with 73,153 in June 2017. Ram Truck brand's sales grew 6% to 51,729 vehicles and were a record for the month.
An S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis found that U.S. sales of new vehicles for the period hit a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.25 million units, coming in below the June 2017 figure of 5.76 million units.
German automaker Volkswagen AG's June U.S. sales rose 5.7% to 28,941 vehicles. The company said its sales were up 7.2% year over year to 172,898 units in the first six months of 2018.
Overall sales at Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co. Ltd.'s grew 4.8% due to a 12% surge in trucks sales. The company sold 146,563 units in June.
Daimler AG-owned Mercedes-Benz reported June sales of 26,191 units, a decrease of 9.7% from the best-ever June sales reported last year.
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, or BMW Group, reported a 0.5% increase in sales, selling 33,553 units, while Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. saw U.S. sales rise 1.2% to 145,096 units. The company sold 1,367 LEAF all-electric vehicles, representing a 9.2% decrease from the year-ago period.
Toyota Motor Corp. North America reported total sales of 209,602 units, up 3.6% on a volume basis from 202,376 vehicles in the same period last year. The company's car sales year-to-date are up 3% to 1,189,312 from 1,155,167 reported in the same period last year.
Average interest rates on new car loans in June were 4.14%, above from 3.94% a year earlier. The average interest rate for used-vehicle loans rose to 4.31% from 4.13% in 2017.