Vehicle Sales Soar in Early June
U.S. light-vehicle sales have returned to the blistering pace set earlier in the year, according to the latest survey by J.D. Power and Associates. Sales had dropped in May, but have returned to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 17 million, an improvement to the SAAR rate of 15.6 million projected in May. Robert Schnorbus, chief economist at J.D. Power, said, "We saw a slight drop in sales last month, which we anticipated would happen when the automakers started to cut back on incentives. We expected sales would improve this month, with General Motors and others responding to May's slump with a return to more aggressive incentive programs. Still, we've been pleasantly surprised by June's performance so far."At the segment level, according to the J.D. Power report, SUVs, luxury cars, and compact cars continue to have strong sales. Sports, midsize, and full-size cars continue to slump. Asian manufacturers are showing the largest gains over last year this month, with European makers showing modest gains. Sales averages for the U.S. Big 3 are down from last year's levels.