Here are highlights from June's U.S. auto sales results:
Industry rises 14 percent
Overall U.S. sales rose 14 percent in June to 983,821 light vehicles, a gain of 123,817 from June 2009. For the first six months, sales are up 17 percent to 5,615,000 vehicles from 4,809,876 in the first half of 2009.
The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate was 11.1 million in June, up from 9.5 million last June. Last month's selling rate was better than SAARs of 10.5 million in January and 10.4 million in February, but only the fourth best of the first six months. The highest SAAR this year was May's 11.8 million.
For perspective, every monthly SAAR in the first half of 2009 was below 10 million. But June's 11.1 million is lower than the selling rate in four months in the second half of last year: July, August, October and December.
Last year's peak selling rate, of course, was the 13.7 million in August during the federal government's cash-for-clunkers program.
Among the major players, Chrysler Group had the greatest percentage gain, up 35 percent from a year earlier, while Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. posted the smallest gain, 6 percent higher.
Among the smaller auto groups, Porsche was clearly the big winner, more than doubling June sales to 2,141 from just 902 a year ago. Other notable winners: Jaguar Land Rover, up 53 percent, and Mazda, 33 percent higher.
On the other end of the spectrum, Volvo was the big loser, down 29 percent to 4,995 vehicles.
America Suzuki sales fell 5 percent, although that is its best showing this year. In the first half, Suzuki sales are down 49 percent to 11,549.
All major players win
Every one of the seven biggest auto groups recorded higher unit sales in June. But only Chrysler, up 35 percent, and Hyundai-Kia Automotive, 28 percent higher, outpaced the industry's 14 percent improvement from June last year.
In this group, which accounted for 87 percent of total U.S. sales in June, the smallest percentage growth was American Honda Motor, up 6 percent. Toyota Motor Sales did slightly better, with sales 7 percent higher.
Nissan North America and General Motors Corp. both posted 11 percent gains, while Ford Motor Co. sales rose 13 percent.
Collectively, the seven biggest brands sold 857,800 light vehicles, up 14 percent.
For perspective, both GM's and Chrysler's June sales are compared with June 2009, a month in which both spent all or some of the period in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
D3 over J3
Chrysler (up 35 percent), Ford (13 percent) and GM (11.4 percent) all had higher percentage June sales improvements than the top three Japanese-based automakers: Nissan (up 11 percent), Toyota (7 percent) and American Honda (6 percent).
Chevy widens lead over Toyota
Chevrolet widened its unit-sales lead over the Toyota brand as the No. 2-selling brand in the United States.
In June, Chevrolet sales jumped 33 percent to 141,025 light vehicles, while Toyota gained 8 percent to 119,527.
That expands Chevy's six-month lead -- to 781,006, compared with 718,105 for Toyota. Last year, through the first six months, Toyota led Chevrolet by 60,685 sales and was less than 4,000 units behind No. 1 Ford.
Ford has a tighter hold on the top spot this year -- 77,448 ahead of Chevrolet through six months.
Incentives edge downward
Incentive spending by all manufacturers in June declined 7 percent from a year earlier to $2,661 per vehicle sold, the consumer research Web site Edmunds.com reported. Per-vehicle spending also declined $36 or 1 percent from a month earlier.
But among the major players, substantial changes in spending add a fresh perspective to sales results.
Since last June, Toyota Motor Sales' incentive spending jumped $819 per vehicle, or 63 percent, to $2,117, while June sales rose a much smaller 7 percent. With fewer larger trucks, which tend to have the highest spiffs in its vehicle mix, Toyota remains several hundred dollars below the industry incentive average. But it no longer competes with American Honda for the lowest incentive average.
At the other extreme, Chrysler's 35 percent sales increase in June came as it cut incentive spending by a third to $3,295.
That leaves GM as the highest spender of the big companies at $3,808 per vehicle, up $394 or 12 percent from last June. GM's June sales rose 11 percent.
Mustang wins June, trails Camaro to date
The Ford Mustang outsold the Chevrolet Camaro in June, but still trails the GM pony car for the first six months this year.
In June, it was Mustang by a 8,974-7,540 margin. In the first half, Chevrolet has sold 46,378 Camaros and Ford 40,035 Mustangs.
After being re-introduced with a mid-spring launch, the Camaro outsold Mustang each month it was on sale. But Mustang finished slightly ahead for the calendar year, 66,623 to 61,648, even though that was a 23 percent decline in Mustang sales from 2008.