The 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 is introduced at the New York International Auto Show in April (image credit Stan Honda/AFP/Getty)
James R. Healey, Fred Meier and Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY
Chrysler Group said sales were up 8% in June from a year earlier, for the automaker's 39th consecutive monthly sales gain, while Detroit rival Ford reported a 13% driven by a 24% jump for the profitable F-150 pickups.
Chrysler's Ram pickups were standouts, their sales up 24%. Ram trucks got eight-speed automatic transmissions and other updates earlier this year.
Jeep Grand Cherokee, also updated with styling tweaks and the eight-speed automatic, was up 33%.
Dodge Durango was up 39%, the automaker's biggest gainer.
Chrysler said seven of its vehicles set records in June.
All major automakers report June sales today. This post will be updated with Ford and General Motors sales as they are reported today,
•Ram standard-duty pickups jumped 36% but the heavy-duty models were up just 5%.
Chrysler expects the momentum to continue this fall when the 2014 standard duty begins offering a diesel with eight-speed automatic, and the heavy-duties will have a bigger, 6.4-liter Hemi gasoline V-8.
•Durango, a full-size SUV based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee underpinnings, zipped 39%. Durango had been having trouble getting sales traction.
•Jeep Grand Cherokee's 33% gain kept the brand above water. Jeep brand sales are suffering because the Liberty small SUV has been discontinued and the Cherokee that replaces it won't hit dealers until the third quarter.
•Chrysler brand sales were up just 1% despite an 18% gain by its Town & Country minivan.
•Fiat sales rose only 1%. The larger Fiat 500L has only begun to arrive at dealers and is expected to increase interest in the tiny Fiat 500 because the L is a bit bigger.
The 13% year-over-year gain to 228,174 overall added up to Ford's best June since 2006 and it was the best June for F-Series trucks since 2005 at 68,009. Cars sales rose 12% and utilities were up 8%.
Ford said its smallest cars - the Fiesta, Focus and C-MAX - were up 39% to 35,851.
The Escape SUV was up just 1% but its 28,694 deliveries were its best-ever month.
Ford's said in its release that the small cars and Escape, plus the Fusion mid-size sedan were helping it make sales inroads in western and southeastern markets where it has not been strong vs. foreign brands.
The new MKZ sedan that is leading the effort to revive the Lincoln brand sold 3,180 in June, for the models best month and closing first-ever quarter of more than 10,000 sales, beating it by 682.