Automakers were on pace to report a seventh consecutive month of falling sales, as slumping demand for small cars continued to weigh on the industry in July.
The automobile industry has seen U.S. sales cool off following a record-setting 2016 and seven consecutive years of growth. Sales continue to find support from low interest rates and gasoline prices, but the pent-up demand that helped carry automakers in recent years has mostly dissipated. Automakers are also wrestling with a drastic shift away from passenger cars.
Ford (F) said Tuesday its July car sales dropped 19%, while SUVs posted a 2.2% gain. General Motors (GM) said trucks and crossovers accounted for 80% of its July sales. The popularity of lucrative SUVs and pickup trucks has kept automakers’ bottom lines healthy in the midst of slower sales overall Opens a New Window..
GM reported total July sales of 226,107, a 15.4% decline compared to the same month last year. The nation’s largest automaker saw declines across the board, led by a 30% drop for Buick.
Ford’s sales fell 7.5% to 200,212, although F-Series truck sales grew 5.8%. The company said its trucks sold for an average of $45,000, or $2,500 more than a year ago.