US automakers sold over half of all cars in the US last month for the first time since 2008, new sales figures show.
The impact of the Japanese earthquake on the availability of Japanese models, traditionally among the US top sellers, meant that the Detroit automakers captured 50.1 percent of the sales in June 2011, according to the automakers' reports and Automotive News.
Overall, US consumers bought seven percent more cars last month than in June 2010, a welcome boost after low figures in May.
General Motors sold more cars than any other, up 11 percent with 215,335 sold across its brands (Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC), while Ford took second spot with a ten percent boost to 193,415 sales.
With Toyota hampered by shortages from Japan, Chrysler posted a 30 percent gain to take third spot with 120,394 models shifted - the best sales months of the year so far for the Pentastar, helped by strong sales figures for the new Chrysler 200.
As has been the case in recent months, the brand said that fuel-efficient models played a significant role in the sales increase.
"Thanks to our alliance with Fiat, we now have 12 models that have EPA-rated highway fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon (9.41 l/100km) or higher, and four of those models get 30 mpg (7.84 l/100km) or more," said Chrysler's Reid Bigland.
"This business is all about product and consumers are rapidly discovering everything we now have."
Sales for Japanese automakers slumped, with Toyota and Honda both down 21 percent, and although Nissan saw an 11 percent rise in sales, its Japan-built Infiniti brand posted a 24 percent fall.
The most popular automakers in the US - June 2011
1. General Motors
Data from automakers/ Automotive NewsReuse content