The industry trend of customers abandoning car sales in the U.S. continued in July as total industry vehicle sales dipped for the sixth straight month compared to last year, at 17.5 million – a record for the industry. The problem was compounded by soft truck sales, which aren’t high enough to fill the gap. It’s could be the beginning of a huge problem the Detroit Three, which have had trouble selling cars for years. Ford car sales declined 19% for the month.
AutoData Corp. reports that the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for July 2017 was 16.73 million, its third consecutive month below the 17 million units. Sales of all brands, unadjusted for business days, were down 7 from last July. The industry sold 1,415,139 light vehicles in July, down from 1,474,360 in June and 1,519,249 a year ago.
Domestic brands finished July with 41.4% of the U.S. market and sales of 586,367 vehicles – a decline of 11.6% since last July and 4.9% for the year overall. In June, they captured 44.6% of the market and sold 658,028 vehicles, while July 2016 sales reflected a 43.6% share of the market and sales of 663,434 vehicles. Domestic manufacturers were hurt by unexpectedly sharp declines in sales of certain trucks and S.U.V.s. G.M. sold 43% fewer Chevrolet Traverse S.U.V.s, and 15% fewer Silverado pickups year-over-year. Jeep division sales dropped 23%.
Buyers still favored trucks and SUVs in July; seven of the month’s top-ten selling vehicles fell into that segment, with cars in three slots. Ford F-Series continued its reign as the most popular vehicle in the U.S. with sales up 5.8% over July 2016, followed by the Chevrolet Silverado in second place, which saw a sales decline of 15.1%.
The Toyota RAV4 was the month’s winner in the SUV category, third place + 31.1% year-over year. Nissan Rogue the number one SUV in June, fourth place, dropped to seventh, sales down 2.6%. Honda CR-V sales decreased 11.8%, while the Ford Escape moved to tenth place, sales up 5.5%.
Offshore brand cars: Honda Civic (fifth place), Toyota Camry (sixth place), Honda Accord (ninth place) stayed on the Top Ten list of most popular vehicles for U.S. shoppers. While a month does not a trend make, y-o-y Detroit truck sales dropped from 9.03 million to 8.68.