U.S. auto sales heated up in July, after a surprising slowdown a month earlier, even as Detroit's traditional Big Three automakers had mixed results.
Buoyed by high incentives and low interest rates, light vehicle sales industrywide hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 18,135,503 for the month, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
July was the best month of the year so far for GM, where sales rose 0.1 percent, including Saab sales.
At Ford Motor Co., July sales fell 4.1 percent. The second-largest U.S. automaker has steadily lost market share to Asian and crosstown rivals this year. Ford's results include its import brands.
Ford economist Jarlath Costello, who noted that consumer confidence strengthened in July, told reporters and analysts on a conference call the economy should improve through the second half of the year.
DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler division has been alone among Detroit automakers in gaining market share this year, boosted by the success of its new Chrysler 300 flagship sedan. The automaker's sales rose 5.8 percent.
Among foreign-based automakers, Toyota Motor Corp.'s July sales rose 18 percent and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. sales jumped 36 percent, giving the company its best U.S. sales month ever.
|July||July||Pct.||7 mos.||7 mos.||Pct.|
|Ford Motor Co.***||284,292||296,462||–4.1%||1,971,017||2,044,913||–3.6%|
|Numbers in this table are calculated by Automotive News based on actual monthly sales reported by the manufacturers and may differ from numbers reported elsewhere. |
Source: Automotive News Data Center
Note: Other includes estimates for Ferrari, Lamborghini and Lotus
*Includes Mini and Rolls-Royce
***Includes Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo
Includes Honda Division and Acura
Includes Hyundai and Kia
Includes Nissan Division and Infiniti
Includes Toyota Division and Lexus
Includes VW, Audi and Bentley