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US new car sales in June are expected to increase 8% year-on-year to 1.4 million, according to LMC Automotive and Autonews. This would be the market is set to hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 15.7 million, its highest since the 15.8 million it reached in December 2007! As a reminder, the SAAR was 15.2 million in May and 14.4 million a year ago. “There is little question that the automotive market has strong momentum as we close out the first half of 2013,” Jeff Schuster, LMC’s senior vice president of forecasting, said in a statement. “Looking forward, all the key fundamentals are in alignment to continue the current growth trend, with production capacity limitations being the only major visible risk.”
According to Autonews, “LMC said it still expects full-year light-vehicle sales of 15.4 million units, which would be a 6% increase from the 14.5 million sold in 2012. Auto sales are finally starting to get more help from the broader economy, years after the recession officially ended. Unemployment rates declined last month in 25 states and sales of existing homes increased in May to the highest rate in nearly four years. New-home starts and consumer confidence readings each rose to five-year highs in recent months.
Strong demand for pickups has been among the biggest positive factors for the industry this year, as builders and other business owners replace aging trucks that they held onto during the recession. However J.D. Power said sales of premium vehicles have not kept pace with the overall market, accounting for 11.7% of total sales, down from 12.7% a year ago.
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