Car sales in United States jumped 22 percent in June.
After a gloomy May, U.S. consumers continued to replace their aging vehicles in June 2012. Car dealers sold 1,285,499 light vehicles. That means that the annual selling rate is once again close to 14 million.
Toyota and Honda are the winners this month. Toyota sales increased 60 percent. Honda sales soared 49 percent, led by a 66 percent gain for Acura.
Among the Detroit three, Chrysler’s US sales rose 20 percent in June. Demand for Chrysler’s Ram pickup increased 12 percent. Cars, however, saw much bigger increases. The sales of the Fiat 500 and the Chrysler 300 large sedan more than doubled over last June.
Still, the pace is slowing down from the beginning of the year. Earlier, sales were on track to reach 14.5 million this year. The pace dropped to below 14 million in May and is expected to stay just around 14 million during the coming months. Stronger sales are expected at the end of the year.
“We believe that 2012, like 2011, will finish out strongly,” Barclays analyst Brian Johnson wrote in a recent note to investors.
The hope is that new models like the Ford Escape and Dodge Dart will attract buyers. Low interest rates and better credit availability, together with fair prices, could also draw out buyers. The average interest rate on a 60-month new-car loan is now 4.5%, down from 6.98% two years ago, according to Bankrate.com.
At the same time, used car prices are now slowly dropping after months of record high levels, which makes this summer a good time to buy if you’re in the market for a used car.