U.S. Auto Sales Better than Expected

Reports released Wednesday by the automobile industry show that U.S. automobile sales for the month of June are better than analysts expected, reported Reuters.

The Ford Motor Company led the industry with the lowest decline — 11 percent — in sales compared to the sales in June of 2008, reported the New York Times.

Bloomberg reported that the U.S. Vice President of Nissan, Al Castignetti, said automobile “sales still haven’t recovered…but things are stabilizing.” Reuters reported that the Nissan Motor Co Ltd reported a decline of 23.1 percent.

“I’m not sure if the economy is getting better or worse, but it appears to me that consumer confidence is getting better, and that drives sales.”

Reuters also reported other automobile industry declines, which were “not adjusted for [the] extra selling day” in June of 2008:

The Toyota Motor Corporation, which has been in second place for the first half of 2009, experienced a decline of 31.9 percent and Chrysler Group LLC saw sales drop 42 percent in its first sales month since being purchased by Italy’s Fiat SpA.

Ford’s chief sales analyst, George Pipas, is reported by the New York Times to have said; “We may have seen the low point in auto sales.”

Chrysler Group LLC opened a small assembly plant in mid-June, decided to restarted seven plants on Monday and expect to reopen all plants soon, reported the New York Times.

In April, Chrysler closed all of its assembly plants when it filed for bankruptcy protection, reported the New York Times, and for a large portion of the first half of 2009 General Motors’ plants have been closed or producing at low levels.


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