With most manufacturers reporting, analysts are not in total agreement on whether the industry will sell more vehicles this year than last.
Several said sales have plateaued while others remain convinced the industry will post higher sales for the full year, but by a thin margin.
Detroit’s Big Three automakers will not be rolling out the brass bands when it comes to July sales.
Ford down 3 percent.
GM down 1.9 percent.
Fiat Chrysler up but just 0.3 percent.
Ford reported a 6 percent setback in retail sales, but a gain of the same amount in sales to rental firms and governments. Sales of the usually popular F-150 pickups were off 1 percent.
GM continued its plan to concentrate on the retail market, and not fleet sales with all brands except Chevrolet posting gains last month. Thanks to strong demand for its Regal, Enclave and Encore brands Buick sales rose 10.4 percent.
Fiat Chrysler posted its first monthly figures since overhauling its sales reporting practices, but like previous reports its highlights were the Jeep lineup and Ram trucks. As it continues to beef production of both, it said Dodge sales were off 10 percent in July and Fiat was down 14 percent.
Honda posted a new record for truck sales and a July record for total vehicle sales. Overall sales rose 4.4 percent with demand for its trucks up a strong 10 percent while Honda car sales rose just 0.4 percent. Demand was strong for the Pilot, up 8 percent. The Acura Division saw sales fall 8.3 percent.
Sales were down at arch rival Toyota by 1.4 percent last month, but it added “light trucks remained the hottest segment for the industry in July.” There was record demand for the RAV4 and Highlander. Lexis sales were off 6.5 percent.
Volkswagen said sales were off 3.8 percent last month.
Mazda was up 2.8 percent with the CX-5 posting its best-ever July with demand also strong for the updated CX-9.
Thanks to demand for its Santa Fe Sport and Santa Fe, Hyundai said sales rose 5.6 percent in July. Demand was also brisk for the Tucson. Overall, Hyundai said it was the best July ever.
Total sales rose 1.2 percent at Nissan with overall sales of crossovers, trucks and SUV’s setting a July record. The Rogue and Murano were much in demand. But sales at its luxury brand, Infiniti, dropped 4.7 percent.
So, as you can see, consumers continued to shy away from cars last month, and maintained the long standing preference for crossovers, trucks and SUV’s.
Fifty-six months consecutive months of sales gains is the bragging right at Subaru. July sales were up 3.1 percent with the best July ever for the Legacy and Outback.
Sales of BMW brand vehicles were off 4.4 percent while Mini sales declined 8 percent. “As we have seen through the early months of the year, the 2 Series and X1 have acquired a strong following and the 7 Series continues gaining ground. At the same time, the global popularity of our X models continues to constrain our sales here in the U.S.,” said Lugwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW of North America.