Car Sales Bolster First-Half Results in U.S. Market

In the first six months of 2012, new-car and light-truck sales in the U.S. climbed 13.4%, to 7.26 million units from 6.32 million units in the same period of 2011 (on a selling-day-adjusted basis).* There were 938,400 more new light vehicles delivered in the first half of this year than in the same period of 2011, according to transaction data collected by J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN).

Retail sales during the first six months of 2012 improved—up 11.5% from a year ago, and fleet sales were up 20.4% from last year, based on analysis from LMC Automotive** and PIN. In addition, car sales outpaced truck sales this year vs. the same period in 2011.

Volkswagen, Toyota and Fiat-Chrysler Groups outperformed the overall market during the first half, with each manufacturer posting growth in excess of two times the industry average.

In addition, all 11 multi-franchise automakers sold more light vehicles in the first half than in the previous year’s six-month period, with eight posting double-digit gains. Six of the 11 also outperformed the industry’s sales pace. Among the four independents, Subaru and Mazda also achieved double-digit sales gains and outpaced the industry.

In light of this performance, the strength of new car and light-truck sales during the first half of the year appears to be helping offset some concern about a slowing U.S. economy. Through June, there still was pent-up demand in the U.S. market as vehicle owners continued to replace their aging cars and trucks, while an easing in credit made it easier to finance long-term loans, according to analysis by PIN and LMC Automotive.

*There were 27 selling days in June 2012 vs. 26 days in June 2011.

**J.D. Power and Associates and LMC Automotive have a strategic alliance to share data and produce sales forecasts based on J.D. Power’s real-time transaction data collected by PIN, with analysis and intelligence from LMC Automotive.

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