The U.S. auto industry appears poised to begin the year with seven consecutive monthly sales declines, despite the benefit of an additional selling day in July.
That ignominious milestone has happened two other times this decade: in 2017, as the industry came off a sales record, and in 2009 amid the throes of the Great Recession. It's the latest sign that, despite strong economic factors, the industry is settling back toward historical norms after years of growth.
Automakers are scheduled to report July sales results Thursday, though it will be the first month in which Fiat Chrysler joins General Motors and Ford in switching to quarterly releases.
The seasonally adjusted, annualized selling rate is projected to range from 16.5 million to 16.7 million — in line with most full-year estimates for sales to come in below 17 million for the first time since 2014. LMC, however, increased its forecast by 40,000 units to 17 million.