Strong product launches and historically low financing rates led to a 10.1 percent increase in shareholder value for global automakers in the second quarter.
Those factors -- plus an average fleet age of 11 years that could push more people to dealerships -- should help the industry sustain that growth through the end of the year, according to the Automotive News/PwC Shareholder Value Index.
Meanwhile, global suppliers gained 8.1 percent, and U.S. retail groups gained 0.1 percent.
Fiat's 31.3 percent second-quarter gain -- bolstered by sales of Chrysler Group, majority-owned by Fiat -- led global automakers. U.S. sales for Chrysler Group through June were up 9 percent over the same period last year with 908,332 units sold.
General Motors, which sold 1.4 million units in the United States through June, followed with a 19.7 percent increase in value. The Chevrolet Silverado, with 242,586 units sold in the first six months, is the second-highest-selling light vehicle in 2013.
Ford, with 1.3 million vehicles sold in the first half of 2013, was third with an 18.5 percent rise in shareholder value. Three Ford offerings -- the F series, Fusion and Escape -- are among the 10 top-selling light vehicles in the United States.
June's seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales -- a key indicator of the U.S. auto industry's health -- surged to 15.98 million, the strongest sales pace since late 2007.
Jeff Zaleski, a PwC partner, said: "I look at last quarter's results and this quarter's results, and what it confirms to me is that we're looking at a very healthy industry. Automotive volumes are up from the [automakers'] perspective, suppliers are benefiting from that."
Zaleski continued: "When I look across the regions, whether its Asia, Europe or North America, all three regions appear to be healthy, which tells me that the years of diversification in the industry, whether it be regional or customer diversification that everybody worked on, is starting to pay off. Despite continuing economic issues in Europe, you're seeing positive returns even for European suppliers."