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Summer Auto Sales Settle In For A Sizzle

Though the 2.5 percent increase in US auto sales for June seems lackluster, last month also marked a 1.5 percent increase in sales for the first half of 2016, setting stage for another record setting year.

Individually big player sales slipped by 1.6 % at GM, 5.6% for Toyota and 11.9% at BMW, while giants like Ford and FCA both saw over 6 % increases.

Nissan saw 13.1 % increase largely on the strength its new full-sized Titan pickups and the very popular compact Rogue crossover.

High-end brands Volvo and Range Rover both saw healthy sales bumps around 44% driven by resplendent luxury SUV offerings.

The auto industry in general — sales winners and losers — are benefiting on the balance sheets from the low fuel cost dividends.

As Americans hit the road for summer trips, gas prices are around $2.25 a gallon, which has buyers snapping up new pickups, SUVs and crossovers. These vehicles provide manufacturers with fat margins and healthy bottom lines.

At the same time incentives are averaging over $3,800 per vehicle sold, suggesting a risky artificial boost to keep the strong sales run going.

Most analysts are cautiously optimistic that the auto sales will continue to grow through 2017.