June auto sales will no doubt be ugly. In all likelihood, the sixth month of the year will be the 24th month in the past 25 to see a year-over-year sales decline. June could also bring a bit of good news, though, as an Automotive News poll of nine different industry analysts shows that sales may hit an annualized rate of 10 million, up from the 9.1-9.9 levels of previous months this year.
The slight pickup in June sales verses May numbers would suggest that the market for new cars and trucks has likely bottomed out. Edmunds predicts that the automaker likely to gain much share in June is Ford, as the car research site predicts sales that its sales are down only 15.6%. The next smallest decline is predicted to be Nissan at 24.2%, and then Toyota, Honda, GM, and Chrysler are all guesstimated to be between 28-32%. The June 2009 sales figures will likely be a bit skewed for Honda, though, as the Japanese automaker had an unusually strong June 2008 because of a big-time push for fuel efficient vehicles due to $4 per gallon gas.
Deutsche Bank analyst Rod Lache has told Automotive News that the second half of the year could see even more of an upward trend due to the freshly minted Cash-for-Clunkers law. Lache says sales could hit 11 million on an annualized rate, though it's likely that most people driving junkers can't afford a new car payment along with increased insurance rates.
[Source: Automotive News subs req'd | Image: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty]