July 3 - Auto sales rebounded in June after a disappointing May- a bright spot for the economy and an encouraging sign of consumer sentiment. Bobbi Rebell reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS 4:3 MATERIAL June was a very hot month for auto sales. Americans may be worried about the economy but they got tired of their old cars. Edmunds.com Vice Chairman Jeremy Anwyl: SOUNDBITE: JEREMY ANWYL, VICE CHAIRMAN, EDMUNDS.COM (ENGLISH) SAYING: "A lot of people who just have been putting off buying a vehicle for year after year after 3 or 4 years of that, cars start getting pretty old and they feel the need to get out and buy a new vehicle." And buy they did. General Motors sales were up 16 percent from a year ago. Ford sales climbed 7 percent. and Chrysler- now an affiliate of Italy's Fiat, up 20 percent. Toyota, which is the third largest in terms of U.S. sales, saw a 60 percent June sales increase- coming off last year's devastating tsunami. REPORTER BRIDGE: BOBBI REBELL, REUTERS REPORTER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The real key to these sales though- auto loans. Financing is getting easier- a win not just for consumers- but also for dealers and lenders." SOUNDBITE: JEREMY ANWYL, VICE CHAIRMAN, EDMUNDS.COM (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It's allowed people who have just been kept out of the market for quite a few years to come back into the market and that's boosting sales. It's also very good for the finance company profits because when you look at the interest rate that these loans are going out at many of them are over 10 percent and you look at the cost of money there is quite a bit of margin in some of those loans." But that enthusiasm could be tempered by the risks coming out of Europe-which remains a concern for the industry. Bobbi Rebell, Reuters.