Ford Motor Co. reported a healthy boost in sales for the month of June, a 13% year-over-year increase, thanks in large part to the automaker's F-series trucks.
This was the best June for Ford trucks since 2005, in fact, with sales up 24% to take the F-series into its 23rd consecutive month of increases.
"Ford has once again set the benchmark for industry growth, besting their domestic counterparts with a more than 13% annual improvement in June," said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book. "With their revamped lineup of fuel-efficient cars and crossovers, not to mention the Ford F-Series, Ford should continue to lead the domestics and maintain solid growth through the second half of 2013."
Economy cars also sold well. Sales of the Fiesta, Focus and C-MAX hybrid totaled more than 35,800 units, up 39% from last year, making this the carmaker's best June for small cars in 13 years.
The Escape crossover sport utility vehicle also continued its strong sales streak, posting best-ever monthly sales at 28,694 vehicles.
"We're particularly encouraged by strong retail share gains, especially in coastal markets," said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president of marketing, sales and service.
Ford is seeing success across market segments.
"Ford is one of the few automakers earning rewards at both ends of the vehicle spectrum -- the trend towards fuel-efficient cars as well as truck sales from the recovering housing," said Kristen Andersson, Analyst for TrueCar. "A revamped product portfolio and increased consumer demand is driving robust sales for Ford."
But Ford's luxury brand, Lincoln, is still sputtering. Sales were down another 1% in June and off almost 9% for the year.
"The full-sized pickup buyer who has been holding off buying a new truck is coming back into the market again," said Erich Merkle, Ford's sales analyst.
The surging auto industry reflects improvements in the broader economy and the housing market, he said.
"If you take a look at consumer sentiment, it is running strong and that has a lot to do with what we were seeing behind the car sales numbers last month," Merkle said. "As you see property values start to increase, people seem to feel better financially, and the stock market has been doing relatively well, despite some of the recent down days."
Chrysler posted its best June since 2007 with sales up 8% year-over-year, the automaker reported. Dodge Durango sales led the way with a 39% increase, while Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram trucks helped boost sales with 33% and 23% increases, respectively. Jeep sales overall were flat, but should get a boost later this summer with the arrival of a new Jeep Cherokee, which will replace the outgoing Liberty model.
"Chrysler is weaning itself some from the outsized percentage of daily rental car sales it had been selling, which puts the automaker in a healthier financial position," said Michelle Krebs, an analyst with auto information company Edmunds.com.
While most automakers posted sales gains in June, Volkswagen saw its business decline because of a dearth of new models. The German company said its U.S. sales fell 3.2% to 36,957 vehicles last month compared to the same period a year earlier.
"Gains in the Jetta and Passat were offset by a rather significant decline in the Golf, which has seen a decline as consumers hold out for the 2014 redesign expected to drop later this year," said Kelley Blue Book's Gutierrez.