The automobile industry announced U.S. sales figures for June late yesterday. Contrary to last month, when the automakers combined to post the strongest month of sales since August, June sales were down approximately 4.5%, falling to the lowest levels since February 2003.
Despite an impressive 10% sales jump in June for its Cadillac models, General Motors
The smallest of the Big Three, DaimlerChrysler
Once again, unlike the U.S. manufacturers, each of the top three Japanese automakers reported increased sales for June. Both Honda
Nissan reported the largest increase when its sales climbed 9%. Toyota also refuses to slow down and recorded a 5.2% increase in sales for June.
Honda reported a small increase of 1.1% thanks to its popular Odyssey and Accord models, which performed well, but recently were the subject of some negative news. Acura, Honda's luxury line, also helped prop up sales with an 8.2% increase.
As a result of these sales trends, the Japanese manufactures continue to chip away at the market share of the U.S. leaders. The Big Three have given up 3% of their market share over the last year and now control 58.5% of the market. Based on comments of company representatives, the situation is unlikely to improve in the near future. Officials at GM and Ford caution that it will be difficult to recover in the second half of the year while Toyota management is anticipating an upswing in sales this summer.
Fool contributor Mike Cianciolo welcomes feedback and doesn't own any companies in this article.