IRVINE, Calif. — Kelley Blue Book (KBB) issued today its prediction for June 2015 sales. The vehicle information site expects to increase 5.8% from a year ago to 1.5 million units, resulting in an estimated 17.4 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR).

If the firm’s June sales prediction is realized, total sales for the first half of 2015 would come in at 8.53 million — a 4.7% increase from the same time last year and the highest first-half total since 2005. It would also mean second-quarter sales will have increase 3.9% from a year ago to 4.58 million — the highest second quarter total since 2005. For the year, KBB’s June sales prediction would mean the industry is on pace to close out 2015 with 17.1 million units sold, a 3.6 year-over-year jump and the highest overall total since 2001.  

“With another month of new-car sales growth in June 2015, the sixteenth in a row, the auto industry continues its incredibly strong momentum. With a 17.3 million projected SAAR for June, it would mark the third month above 17 million out of the past four months,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for KBB. “However, heading into the summer months, sales should flatten out at a more sustainable pace.”

Including fleet sales, KBB expects June new light-vehicle sales to increase 5.8% from a year ago to 1.5 million units, which would be down 8% from May. The firm also estimates that the SAAR will be 17.4 million, up from 16.8 million in June 2014 but down from May’s 17.7 million SAAR.

The firm, which noted that the industry enjoyed 25 selling days vs. 24 in June 2014, also expects retail sales to account for 80.6% of volume in June 2015, up from 79.7 percent in June 2014.

“Kelley Blue Book anticipates positive numbers from nearly all manufacturers in June 2015, but Fiat Chrysler Automobiles could see the largest year-over-year gains,” said Gutierrez. “The surge in popularity of utility and truck models this year has been beneficial for Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep and RAM brands, helping push the manufacturer to its highest U.S. market share since 2007.”

The Volkswagen Group is another manufacturer poised to report solid growth, thanks to the full model lineup of its redesigned Golf. The Audi brand could also boost sales by double digits this year, while sales for the overall luxury market is trending 7.4% higher than last year.

As gas prices remain comparably low vs. last year, June should be another good month for utility and truck segment sales. Year to date, SUV sales are up 11.9%, and with new models on the market such as the Honda HR-V, Kelley Blue Book expects even higher totals in June.

Conversely, non-luxury cars will continue to lose share, with year-to-date sales down 5.2 percent. While the month should see slightly positive numbers for the compact and mid-size car segments, combined share is expected to drop by nearly a full percentage point.