Irvine, Calif. - New-car sales are expected to improve 6.0 percent year-over-year in June to a total of 1,363,000 units according to Kelley Blue Book (KBB). After adjusting for one fewer selling day this June, the 10.1 percent year-over-year gain will mark the strongest improvement thus far in 2013. The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for June 2013 is 15.5 million, which is the highest SAAR since November 2012 at 15.5 million, and highest June SAAR since 2007 at 15.8 million.

"We've had a strong first half of the year with new-car sales up nearly 7 percent compared to the first half of last year," said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights, KBB. "The industry continues to benefit from modest improvements in housing, unemployment and consumer confidence."

As in May, Nissan will lead sales gains again this month and is expected to post a 14.9 percent increase, bouyed by demand for the newly redesigned Altima and Sentra. More consumers may be drawn to Nissan products since Nissan cut the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) on seven of its models in May. Ford will rely on a strong pickup truck market and plentiful incentives on its F-150 to drive a 13.4 percent gain. Meanwhile, Hyundai-Kia is expected to decline 3.6 percent, as it faces production capacity constraints and competition from newer product offerings from other manufacturers, especially in the mid-size car segment.

Honda's all-new Accord appears well-positioned to challenge the Toyota Camry for the top spot in mid-size segment sales this month, while the Ford Fusion and Nissan Altima are not far behind. Demand remains strong for large pickups and compact utility vehicles, both of which are expected to be up nearly 20 percent.

"Compact crossovers will capture more market share than ever before at 13 percent, fueled by recent redesigns of the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4," said Gutierrez. "Sales in the mid-size segment are expected to be relatively flat year-over-year; however, the fight for segment supremacy remains fierce."