DETROIT (AP) — Not since before the recession have Americans been buying new cars and trucks at the pace that was seen last month.

Ford says its sales rose 14 percent, while Chrysler's rose 8 percent and GM saw a gain of 6.5 percent. The automakers were boosted by continuing demand for big pickups.

Japanese automakers reported solid gains as well. Nissan's sales jumped 13 percent, while Toyota's were up 10 percent. But Volkswagen's sales dropped 3 percent. That's the third straight monthly decline for the German car company.

Analysts say they don't see much that could slow the sales momentum of the first six months of the year. Factors that helped spur sales -- including low interest rates, wider credit availability and rising home construction -- are likely to remain in place. And demand hasn't been dampened so far by hiccups in the stock market, or by higher taxes and fluctuating gas prices.

%@AP Links

189-c-14-(Warren Levinson, AP correspondent)-"June than last"-AP correspondent Warren Levinson reports pickup truck sales are soaring. (2 Jul 2013)

<<CUT *189 (07/02/13)££ 00:14 "June than last"

188-v-30-(Warren Levinson, AP correspondent)--Americans are buying cars again. AP correspondent Warren Levinson reports. (2 Jul 2013)

<<CUT *188 (07/02/13)££ 00:30

APPHOTO NY114: In this Wednesday, May 8, 2013 photo, new 2013 Ford Fusions are seen at an automobile dealer in Zelienople, Pa. Sales from the major automakers are expected to show that confident U.S. buyers snapped up new cars and trucks at a strong pace in June. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic) (8 May 2013)

<<APPHOTO NY114 (05/08/13)££