Strong demand for sport utility vehicles and trucks in June helped General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. offset slowing demand for sedans by allowing them to raise prices on their trucks.
GM and Ford said Wednesday that increases in the average transaction prices for their vehicles, particularly trucks and SUVs, outpaced sales volume growth that fell short of Wall Street expectations. Ford, for example, said prices for its F-series trucks rose 8 percent, or $3,600, while sales volume for the pickup truck line dropped 8.9 percent in June.
U.S. June auto industry sales rose to about 1.47 million vehicles, up 3.9 percent from a year ago, according to figures compiled by WardsAuto.
GM's sales fell 3 percent last month as the company's small cars slid from year-ago figures, including a 13 percent drop in Cruze compact sales. Sales of GM's large SUVs also fell, reflecting fewer sales to fleets, a company spokesman said. But GM said average transaction prices for all vehicles rose almost $1,000 from a year earlier.
GM said analysts may have not factored into their expectations the automaker's statement a month ago that its sales to rental agencies would fall by 20,000 vehicles in June.
Earlier this week, car shopping and industry consultant TrueCar Inc. said June would bring in about $48 billion of net revenue, up 7.3 percent from a year ago. TrueCar said the sharpest rises in net revenue from a year ago would come from Nissan Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
The National Automobile Dealers Association this week raised its forecast for 2015 U.S. auto sales to 17.2 million vehicles from 16.9 million. It would be the sixth straight year of solid gains since the recession.