J.D. Power pointed out the impressive gains in initial vehicle quality yesterday, and today it's calling at least a ground-rule double for June sales--even though the month has one week to go.
New-vehicle sales for the month should come in at least 16 percent stronger than in the same period last year, according to Power's figures. At the retail level, the prediction is for a 15-percent increase over June 2011.
Power's analysts say June retail sales alone are nearing a 12-million seasonal annual adjusted rate (SAAR), with just under 1 million retail sales expected to be logged when the sales month closes next week.
The reason? The summer selling season is here, and the 2013 model year's already begun, with strong-selling models like the Chevy Equinox, Hyundai Elantra, and Ford F-150 already in showrooms or on the way.
Power and LMC Automotive, its study partner, also point to falling gas prices, which they suggest could be bringing in more new-car buyers, while impacting sales of electric and hybrid vehicles. Those green cars have seen sales fall to 3.4 percent of the market, from 4.6 percent in April. Their prediction for total share on the year for hybrids and electrics is 3.2 percent.
June 2012 J.D. Power SAAR ForecastEnlarge Photo
"All indicators point toward an industry that continues to get healthy,” Humphrey said in a release.
In May, car sales posted healthy gains across the board, with only a handful of brands left behind in the race to increase showroom traffic and market share.
For all of 2012, LMC Automotive is anticipating total new vehicle sales of 14.5 million units, of which 11.6 million vehicles will be sold at the retail level.