Through June, average light-vehicle dealership sales were $16.6 million, vs. $16.8 million in the year-earlier period, the report said. The average number of new vehicles retailed at a dealership was 449, up two from the same period in 2016 and 2015.
But gross profit as a percentage of selling price was 5.9 percent, down from 6.1 percent a year ago and 6.5 percent in the 2015 period. In dollar terms, average retail gross profit per new vehicle sold was $2,014, vs. $2,075 a year earlier and $2,148 in 2015, the report said.
On a bright note, finance and insurance income as a percentage of new-vehicle sales rose to 2.9 percent from 2.7 percent a year ago.
The average new-vehicle selling price through June was $34,335, compared with $34,221 in the year-earlier period, said the report.
The average cost of floorplanning declined to a net gain of $57 per new vehicle retailed, compared with a net positive $119 a year earlier.
Dealers who sell domestic brands saw their average new-vehicle selling price rise compared with those selling imports. The average new-vehicle retail sales price for domestics rose to $37,334 from $36,183 a year ago. For imports, it declined to $32,668 from $32,687, the report said.
"The domestics are tracking higher than the imports and that's because of trucks," said Szakaly.