Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Automakers Report 20.7% Sales Hike in Late June

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Automakers Report 20.7% Sales Hike in Late June

Article excerpt

DETROIT (AP) _ Sales of North Americande cars and light trucks jumped 20.7 percent in late June, providing further evidence of the industry's recovery. But some dealers said business was still slow.

Ford Motor Co. reported its car sales were up 30.7 percent and light truck sales up 39.3 percent for the June 21-30 period. General Motors Corp. reported car sales up 18.4 percent and truck sales up 34.3 percent. Chrysler Corp.'s car sales were up an estimated 1 percent, while its light truck sales rocketed an estimated 39.3 percent.

For the month, Ford car sales ran 14.1 percent ahead of last June, while truck sales were up 20.6 percent. GM's monthly car sales were up 0.3 percent and truck sales up 11.4 percent. Chrysler's car sales were down 12.4 percent for the month, but truck sales rose 22.9 percent.

There were eight selling days in both this year's and last year's latene selling period. For the month, there were 26 selling days this year and 25 in 1991.

"The truck market just keeps getting stronger and stronger," said Ford spokesman Joel Pitcoff. "The retail market continues to show gradual progress on the car side and astounding progress on the truck side."

Pitcoff said car sales were improved by deliveries to rental car companies who were booking more cars because of an increase in travelers because of cutte air fares.

Chrysler said its minivans led the way in a resurgence in light trucks sales. General Motors attributed its gains to an improving market.

"The market is strengthening. It's been a long time coming," said GM spokeswoman Toni Simonetti.

The Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis said the projected annual rate of car sales, which is seasonally adjusted, stood at 6.7 million cars in late June, up from 6.4 million in midne.

"Fleet deliveries were high in latene, yet the numbers still suggest that underlying retail demand is continuing to gain strength," said Tom Webb, senior economist with the National Automobile Dealers Association. …

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