Auto retailer AutoNation Inc. (NYSE: AN) reported this morning that June sales rose 38% compared with June 2011, to 22,862 units. The company sells vehicles made by Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM), and Honda Motor Corp. (NYSE: HMC), among several others at its 200+ US locations.
Sales of domestic vehicles rose 25% year-over-year in June, while import sales rose 56%, and premium luxury sales rose 20%. For AutoNation’s second fiscal quarter of 2012, domestic sales rose 31%, import sales rose 47%, and premium luxury sales rose 18% year-over-year.
Among the automakers themselves, GM reported sales up 16% in June, Ford sales rose 7%, Toyota sales jumped more than 54%, and Honda sales rose nearly 49%.
The latest estimate on total US vehicle sales for 2012 from J.D. Power is up by 300,000 units from May. Including fleet sales, the research firm expects a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 13.9 million units to be sold in the US this year. Ford estimates total US sales from all automakers of 14-14.5 million units in 2012, and GM’s estimate calls for total sales of as many as 14.7 million units.
Auto sales are picking up after a couple of lean years as consumers finally begin to replace older vehicles. But continuing high unemployment and a softening economy could bring those expected sales numbers down. Lower gasoline prices and stabilizing home prices could be contributing factors to the rise in auto sales. But US car sales are still expected to come in well below their peak of nearly 15 million units sold before the financial crisis of 2008.
Shares of AutoNation closed at $37.79 on Tuesday, up 2.8%, in a 52-week range of $30.46-$41.55.