US: Asian automakers profit from booming June sales image
While the US auto sales look mostly ready to favor the big US manufacturers, with consumers snapping the large SUVs and pickup trucks, the surge reported last month actually allowed everyone to profit, including the major Asian players.
The US auto market is heading towards the sixth year of consecutive strong gains since the fallout of the Great Recession, with June’s auto sales up 3,9 percent from the year ago levels and the seasonally adjusted annualized rate reaching 17.2 million units. That would fall in line with the most recent forecast from the National Automobile Dealers Association, which bumped its prediction for the full year from the previous level of 16.9 million autos to a total of 17.2 million units.
Toyota, the largest automaker in the world and the third biggest in terms of sales in the US, posted a June total of almost 210,000 vehicles, an increase of 4 percent, thanks to strong sport utility vehicle demand. “There’s a lot of momentum in the market,” commented Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president. The second largest Japanese automaker, Nissan, reported excellent deliveries, jumping 13 percent from the same level last year, thanks to a 54 percent jump in demand for the popular Rogue small SUV. Honda posted a positive result, selling about 134,000 vehicles, a surge of 4 percent compared to the same period last year, but didn’t manage to live up to analyst expectations, who were rooting for a 7.1 percent gain.
Meanwhile, the combined sales of troubled South Korean affiliates Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors managed to surprise industry experts, who were expecting a very modest increase – of just 0.6 percent – by surging three percent. Kia even managed to post a 6.9 percent jump that overtook its year-to-date market share drop. They sold a total of 121,639 autos in June, with Hyundai deliveries flat.
Via Reuters, Bloomberg