Sales of U.S. passenger cars decline in July

Aug. 1 (UPI) — U.S. automakers said Tuesday that sales of passenger cars declined in July, although demand for trucks and sport utility vehicles remained strong.

A lack of customers’ interest in passenger cars, the relatively low price of gasoline and a glut of available used cars have led to aggressive financing offers and an overall decline in sales, the industry said.

In early reporting Tuesday, General Motors Co. sales were down 15.4 percent from a year ago, Ford Motor Co. said its sales were down 7.5 percent and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ sales were down by 10.5 percent.

GM stock fell 2.9 percent amid news of the decline. Ford shares were down three percent, and Fiat Chrysler was down 0.025 percent.

Although sales remain at respectable levels historically, U.S. automakers set full-year records in 2015 and 2016 — but automakers are not selling their popular crossover, sport-utility, and pickup truck models at a level to offset customers’ abandonment of sedans and other traditional cars.

Sales of mid-size cars are expected to fall 14.5 percent in July, compared to a year ago, and compact sedans to fall 10.6 percent, USA Today reported, citing Kelley Blue Book.

Each of GM’s brands fell sharply. Chevrolet was down 15.3 percent, Cadillac fell 21 percent, Buick fell 30.5 percent and GMC, which concentrates on trucks, fell 7.3 percent. GM’s economy cars did not capture customers’ attentions, either — as sales of Chevy’s Spark and Sonic fell 81.9 percent and 47.3 percent, respectively.

The Ford brand declined 7.7 percent in July, and the Lincoln brand fell 2.5 percent. Sales of Ford’s midsize Fusion declined 42.2 percent.

Fiat Chrysler’s Ram truck division had flat sales, but Jeep fell 12.3 percent, Chrysler fell 30.1 percent, Dodge was off by 11.9 percent and Fiat lost 18 percent.


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