Ford reports earnings Tuesday. Truck sales have a surprising relationship to the housing industry.
Ford reports earnings Tuesday. Truck sales have a surprising relationship to the housing industry. - 

Two of the Big Three American automakers — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford Motor Co. — are reporting nice gains in their June sales, according to numbers out Wednesday. A stronger job market and easy access to credit are spurring many Americans to trade up from the older cars in their garages.

But that’s not the only reason carmakers are happy these days. A booming housing market is also a factor: contractors are breaking ground on more homes, which means they’re buying more trucks.

“The beneficiaries of that business are typically the Detroit Three. They make the bulk of trucks — the most popular ones,” says Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at AutoTrader. “Those are vehicles that contribute greatly to the bottom lines of those companies.”

She adds that strong demand means dealers are driving hard bargains and keeping prices up. Better deals can be found for those shopping for cars, rather than trucks and SUVs.

Follow Mark Garrison at @GarrisonMark