Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: June 2012

By Kelsey Mays  on July 2, 2012

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Sales for major automakers improved more than 20% over a dismal June 2011 as the hardest-hit brands during last year's Japan earthquake recorded huge year-over-year gains. Toyota gained 60.3%; Honda picked up 48.8%, and Nissan added 28.2%. Not that the Detroit Three stayed behind: Ford sales improved 7.0% last month, while GM and Chrysler both piled on double-digit gains of 15.5% and 20.3%, respectively. On strong gains for the Jeep and Chrysler brands, Chrysler reported its best June since 2007 and its 27th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

The results made for a similar list of best-sellers to last month, with one swap — the Ford Escape for the Honda CR-V. The Escape improved 28.0% with a slight uptick in year-over-year incentives as the redesigned 2013 Escape trickled into dealerships, but the 2013 might be a hard find. The prior-gen 2012 Escape still outnumbers its sharp-looking successor by more than a 4-to-1 ratio on Cars.com's national new-car inventory, and Ford sales chief Ken Czubay said each 2013 Escape takes just five days to sell.

Elsewhere, family cars picked up plenty of steam. Lighter year-over-year incentives did little to dampen interest in the Toyota Camry, which gained 50.2%. On higher incentives and inventory versus a year ago, the outgoing Ford Fusion gained 17.4%, even as a redesigned Fusion hits Ford dealerships this fall. Its Chevrolet Malibu competitor, meanwhile, saw sales spike 32.3% as GM fed the redesigned 2013 Malibu Eco into the pipeline. Other trims will launch late this year, so June sales were a mix of the Eco and all versions of the prior-gen 2012 Malibu, which still takes up two-thirds of the nameplate's new-car inventory on Cars.com. Honda has yet to release full details on its redesigned 2013 Accord, but the 2012s flew off the lots, with sales up 84.1%. Despite a modest sales gain, the Nissan Altima — at one point the second-best-selling car in America — hasn't made this list since March.

Increasing luxury sales could be pulling the tide of overall car prices higher. A number of premium brands gained steam: Cadillac gained 11.6%, Buick and Audi rose more than 25%, Infiniti soared 66.2% and Acura jumped 76.5%. Lexus sales doubled. CNW Automotive Research reports the average new car in June still sold for $32,085 after incentives. That's down $297 from May but up $2,466 from June 2011. Shoppers are spending more — despite four consecutive months of falling consumer confidence amid renewed fears of economic headwinds.

A couple newbies entered the fray. Dodge Dart and Cadillac XTS sales kicked off; the XTS was June's fastest-selling mainstream car. How many did they sell? Dodge delivered 202, while Cadillac moved 753.

Here are June's top 10 best-selling cars:

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May's Top 10 Best-Selling Cars
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Dodge Ford F150 Ford Escape RAM 1500 Chevrolet Malibu Cadillac XTS Toyota Ford Fusion Honda Accord Cadillac Honda Toyota Camry Honda Civic Toyota Matrix Ford Chevrolet Toyota Corolla Dodge Dart Industry Social Reader


Senior Consumer Affairs Editor Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price.  Email Kelsey