U.S. auto sales continued to rebound in the second quarter despite ongoing supply shortages. While many have yet to report their June and quarterly sales, several key players in the U.S. industry checked in Thursday with their figures.
Low interest rates, government stimulus and a preference for private vehicles due to the COVID-19 pandemic have bolstered auto demand in the United States, even as prices have risen due to tight inventories following a global semiconductor shortage. Consumers are purchasing more expensive vehicles despite smaller discounts, boosting profitability for automakers and retailers, according to industry consultants J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.
Toyota reported a company-wide lift of more than 70% in Q2 and nearly 45% so far in 2021. While the three-row Highlander was up a whopping 70% in June, the bread-and-butter RAV4 was up just under 6%, signaling continued supply issues for the high-volume compact.
GM posted a 40% jump in second-quarter U.S. sales on strong demand for its sport utility vehicles and said the trend is expected to continue into 2022. Total sales of Chevy's Silverado line of pickups were up more than 34% in Q2 and nearly 10% for the year as the company struggles to keep production lines open despite chip shortages.
Hyundai claimed its best-ever June sales in the U.S. contributed to an also-record-breaking Q2. There are no models in the negative on Hyundai's 2021 sales sheets, however quite a few slipped in June, including Palisade, likely due to supply constraints.
Kia likewise slashed previous U.S. sales records, marking its best first half so far on strong sales of... just about everything. Notably, the Forte and Sportage notched best first-half sales figures for their nameplates as the automaker reported 40% improvements over 2020 across the board.
Nissan reported a significant Q2 rebound, with an almost-74% improvement from its core brand and a rare 11% bump for luxury subsidiary Infiniti, which was struggling even pre-COVID. Mitsubishi likewise had a gangbuster Q2, up 106% from the same period last year.
We expect more automakers to report their results before the weekend, but some may be delayed due to the holiday. We will continue to update this story as more information is released.
This article contains reporting by Reuters.