U.S. Auto Makers Report Steep Sales Declines in July – By Christina Rogers and Mike Colias Updated Aug. 1, 2017 4:45 p.m. ET


Companies curb discounts on leases and sales to rental fleets

2017 Ford Fusion vehicles on display at a dealership in Illinois.

2017 Ford Fusion vehicles on display at a dealership in Illinois. PHOTO: DANIEL ACKER/BLOOMBERG NEWS

2017 Ford Fusion vehicles on display at a dealership in Illinois. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News

Auto sales slid in July, the seventh month of a slowdown marked by manufacturers’ reluctance to sell discounted cars through leases and car-rental chains.

Sales fell 7% last month, compared with a year earlier, according to Autodata Corp. Research firm J.D. Power said manufacturers typically pull back on sales incentives after the July Fourth holiday, “but this year elevated inventory levels coupled with the sales slowdown, have compelled them to maintain aggressive discounts throughout July.”

Detroit’s car companies felt the brunt of the decline, with General Motors Co.reporting a 15% sales drop in July compared with the same period a year earlier. Sales at Ford Motor Co. F -2.41% and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV slid by 7.4% and 10%, respectively. All three were below analysts’ expectations.

Despite falling sales, the three companies aimed to protect their bottom lines by trimming incentives for car leases. Auto makers have banked on such discounts to keep consumers’ monthly payments low as sticker prices soared because of a market shift to heavier trucks and sport-utility vehicles, and technology aimed at making cars smarter, safer and more efficient.

Article continues:

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s