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Fiat Chrysler, Amid SEC Probe, Reports Stagnant July Sales

FCA reported slightly higher sales gains in July just days after the automaker indicated that it would alter how it reports sales numbers.

Fiat Chrysler on Tuesday reported slightly higher sales gains in July just days after the automaker indicated that it would alter how it reports sales numbers.

FCA long touted a years-long streak of monthly sales gains compared to the same month in the previous year, but two of its dealerships alleged in a lawsuit earlier this year that the company offered financial incentives for inflated vehicle sales totals.

Last month, reports surfaced that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating the automaker. In response, FCA vowed to change how it calculates sales and identified several months that would have broken its 75-month streak under the new system.

The company's latest monthly sales report said that sales increased by just 0.3 percent in July compared to the same month in 2015. Sales to retail customers fell by 2 percent, but a sharp jump in sales to fleet owners keep the numbers in positive territory.

The Jeep and Ram truck brands saw sales climb by 5 percent as car buyers continue to prefer larger SUVs and trucks, but its other divisions β€” Chrysler, Dodge and Fiat β€” each declined.

Sales for FCA's Detroit counterparts General Motors and Ford, meanwhile, declined by 2 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

Toyota, the largest Japanese automaker in the U.S. market, reported a 1 percent sales decline, while Nissan grew by 1 percent and Honda by 4 percent.

Honda's July sales set a record for the month, which the company attributed to truck and SUV sales as well as robust numbers for the smaller Civic.

Those six companies comprised more than 75 percent of the U.S. auto market in June, according to numbers from The Wall Street Journal.

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