Auto sales sputtering for 7th straight month

July sales: GM down 15%, FCA down 10%, Ford down 7.5%

This year, big cuts in sales to rental vehicle fleets and commercial customers were also a factor.

After seven years of USA auto sales growth, this year's persistent slump - and anxiety over upheavals from electrification, autonomy and mobility services - has investors shunning automakers as benchmark stock indexes graze record highs.

US carmakers said on Tuesday they continued to slash low-margin sales to daily rental fleets in July as the overall pace of USA auto and light truck sales fell for the fifth straight month. Fiat Chrysler said its sales fell by 10%.

Police Interceptor Utility sales rose by 7.3 percent last month, while Police Interceptor Sedan sales dropped by 23.4.




Among the top Japanese companies, only Toyota Motor Corp reported a year-to-year gain, with sales up 4 percent. The projected rate, which is adjusted for seasonal trends, would be down from 17.9 million a year earlier, though it alsowould be the fastest rate since February. Only the Ford F-series, up 6 percent, improved on year-ago results among major truck models.

With vehicle inventories bloated, profit-eroding discounts might need to rise further in the second half of the year to keep the sector chugging along even at a reduced speed. Separately, rival General Motors Co.'s stock slid 3% after reporting July vehicle sales fell 14%.

Ford's sales were down 7.5 percent, Fiat Chrysler's declined 10 percent, Volkswagen's fell 5.8 percent, Nissan's fell 3 percent and Honda's were down 1.2 percent. Auto shopping site Edmunds said the average price paid for a new vehicle in July was $34,558, 2 percent higher than the same month a year ago.

Retail sales fell by only 1%, with Ford's share of the retail market actually increasing over the last three months inluding July.

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