US new-vehicle sales barely rose in the second quarter as buyers balked at still-high prices

DETROIT — U.S. new-vehicle sales rose only slightly in the second quarter, despite larger discounts and slightly lower prices.

But brisker sales could be on the horizon: Auto industry analysts say they expect prices to drop further and there’s a possibility of interest-rate cuts that would make taking out a loan for a new vehicle more affordable.

Overall, U.S. sales were up only 0.1% compared to a year ago, as still-high prices kept many potential buyers out of the market, according to preliminary tallies Tuesday by

Sales were crimped in late June, when cyberattacks knocked out software from CDK Global that dealerships use to do sales paperwork. CDK said most dealers were back up by Tuesday afternoon, but companies such as General Motors said the problem pushed some deliveries into the third quarter.

Analysts say inventories on dealer lots are building, especially for pickup trucks and other higher-priced vehicles.

Discounts vary by demand for vehicles, with smaller, less-expensive models and gas-electric hybrids generally being in shorter supply. Many customers are delaying purchases, figuring that bigger discounts are coming.

Toyota, which sells many popular gas-electric hybrids, posted a 9.2% sales increase from April through June. Honda sales were up 2.7%, while General Motors posted just a 0.3% gain and Hyundai reported a 1.8% increase. Subaru had a 5.4% sales gain.

Sales at Stellantis fell 20.7% in the second quarter, with the Ram brand off 26% and Jeep sales falling 19%. Nissan sales fell 3.1%, while Kia was down 1.6%.

Together, automakers reported selling roughly 4.13 million new vehicles from April through June. That’s on pace to reach forecasts of nearly 16 million for the year, a little above last year’s 15.6 million.

Earlier Tuesday, Tesla reported that its second-quarter global sales fell 4.8%, with a 6.6% decline in the first half of the year. The company doesn’t break out U.S. sales. Ford releases its sales numbers on Wednesday.

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