Although light vehicle sales for June increased by 14 percent, the numbers represented the smallest gains of the year for automakers, indicating flagging consumer confidence and renewed concerns that the economic slump in the United States is far from over.
Ford Motor Co.'s 13 percent gain is the company's smallest monthly advance since November, with General Motors having its second slowest month of the year at 11 percent. Industry wide, the seasonally adjusted annual rate is now 11.1 million units, the lowest calculation since February.
Steve Carlisle, vice president of global product planning at GM said, "Recent economic news continues to point to a slow recovery with some volatility. The recovery will be sluggish and continue to boost vehicle sales, albeit modestly."
Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motors Sales U.S.A. pointed to weakened consumer confidence and recall issues to explain his company's meager 7 percent June increase. Honda lagged even farther behind at just 6 percent.
Taken as a whole the figures for the first half of 2010 for the industry show a sales increase of 17 percent over 2009, a year that saw both General Motors and Chrysler file for bankruptcy.