Friday, 20 October, 2017

GM, Fiat Chrysler July sales plunge as U.S. auto slump persists

July sales: GM down 15%, FCA down 10%, Ford down 7.5% Ford's Stock Falls On Heavy Volume After Car And Truck Sales Decline
Debra Rodriguez | 03 August, 2017, 00:45

Several of the big automakers, including Ford, GM, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Nissan Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. announced they sharply reduced sales of rental cars during July, and portrayed those choices as placing profit in front of sales volume.

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.

The U.S. annualized sales pace for cars and light trucks during July fell to just over 16.72 million vehicles compared to 17.8 million for the same period one year ago, showed data released by Autodata, Corp., which tracks sales in the industry.

The annualized pace of US auto and light truck sales in July fell to 16.73 million vehicles, down from 17.8 million vehicles a year earlier, according to Autodata Corp, which tracks industry sales.

Carmakers have used lower-margin sales to rental fleets as a way to avoid shutdowns in plants.

The Ford brand declined 7.7 percent in July, and the Lincoln brand fell 2.5 percent.

Ford's sales excluding heavy trucks declined 7.4 percent, as passenger-car deliveries dropped 19 percent. New vehicle sales hit a record 17.55 million past year.

"New home construction, and the real estate market in general, has been steadily improving and has even surpassed prerecession levels in some parts of the country", Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book, said in a statement. Ford also cut fleet sales by 26 percent, and had to stop sales of its Transit commercial van for a few weeks for a recall.

Vehicle sales are plummeting, hurt by low gas prices and changing tastes, though automakers continue to see healthy profits thanks to consumers' preference for SUVs. Sales of the Ford Fusion midsize sedan dropped 42 percent, while sales of the Chevrolet Spark subcompact fell a whopping 82 percent.

GM said sales of its recently updated GMC Acadia SUV jumped 30 percent. Toyota was offering it for 72 months on a 2017 Camry as the 2018 models arrived in dealerships.

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