The most recent figures for new car sales are trending upward solidly for the third consecutive month as the auto sales industry heads right into the summer selling season.

A monthly retail sales forecast produced jointly by three research firms shows that Americans bought 1,118,800 new vehicles in June, 500,000 more than they bought in May. The forecast leads the research groups, J.D. Power, the Power Information Network (PIN) and LMC Automotive, to project that the sector is on pace to sell 13.2 million units in 2013.

"There is little question that the automotive market has strong momentum as we close out the first half of 2013," said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive. "Looking forward, all the key fundamentals are in alignment to continue the current growth trend, with production capacity limitations being the only major visible risk."


The average transaction price of new vehicles so far in June is $28,900 -- the highest price on record for June. The strong selling pace continues to be matched by strong transaction prices.

"The average price of premium vehicles in June is $47,000, up almost 4 percent from June 2012," said John Humphrey, senior vice president of J.D. Power.

The study focuses on retail transactions because they are considered the most accurate measure of consumer demand for new vehicles.