We all knew surging gasoline prices would hurt auto sales. But it’s happening a lot faster than many had guessed.
Automakers are reporting their June sales figures today, and if red is your favorite color you may like what you see. Ford’s sales were down 28 percent from a year ago, and GM’s were off by 19 percent. The big surprise was Toyota, down 21 percent. It seems Toyota’s overall sales were less dependent on its highly coveted Prius cars than on its trucks.
Since February, gas has risen from $3 a gallon on average to more than $4, where it has lingered for much of June. So a lot of the hottest, low-mileage models of recent years are baking in the sun on car lots, while hybrids and other fuel-efficient cars are in hot demand.
The two manufacturers who saw their sales increase, Honda and Volkswagen, are the same passenger-car makers that have seen their market share dwindle in the age of the SUV. Both saw one-percent gains.
Read More about The Summer We Stopped Buying SUVs