Detroit Automakers Report Slower July Sales

U.S. automakers reported sharply lower July sales in another indication of a sluggish domestic auto market.

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U.S. automakers reported sharply lower July sales in another indication of a sluggish domestic auto market.

Ford reported a 7.5 percent sales decline compared to July 2017 but attributed the bulk of the decrease to lower sales to commercial and rental customers.

Fellow Detroit-area automakers Fiat Chrysler and General Motors, meanwhile, reported declines of 10 percent and more than 15 percent, respectively.

FCA also blamed the decline in part on rental fleet sales, while General Motors highlighted strong crossover sales but acknowledged that the U.S. market "continues to moderate."

Those companies' top overseas rivals fared better last month, although both Nissan and Honda showed sales decreases compared to the previous July.

Nissan reported a sales decline of 3.2 percent as Honda sales fell by 1.2 percent.

Honda's flagship division climbed by more than 2 percent and sales of its cars — contrary to industry patterns — increased by nearly 2 percent. Smaller cars generally bore the brunt of sliding vehicle sales as U.S. car buyers instead opted for larger trucks and SUVs.

Toyota was the lone company among the top U.S. automakers to report a monthly sales increase. The jump of 3.6 percent represented Toyota's "strongest month of the year so far."

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

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