GM slashed July rental auto sales, boosted commercial fleet

Gwen Vasquez
August 2, 2017

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCAU) slid 1 cent to $12.08 after the vehicle maker said US auto sales in July plunged 10% to 161,477 units compared to 180,389 units in a year ago month and retail sales declined 6% to 145,391 units.

The U.S. annualized sales pace for cars and light trucks during July fell to just over 16.72 million vehicles compared to 17.8 million for the same period one year ago, showed data released by Autodata, Corp., which tracks sales in the industry.

Net income in the quarter fell 2.8% to $276 million from $284 million and diluted earnings per share were flat at or 48 cents in the same quarter previous year.

When it comes to General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), overall sales took a bigger hit compared to Ford, falling 15.4% compared to July 2016 to 226,107 vehicles.

Passenger auto sales in the month tumbled 19.4% to 48,259 units while fleet sales plummeted 26.4% to 40,720 units and trucks sales fell 7.1% to 80,886 units while Lincoln brand unit sales increased 2.6% to 3,366 units. With labor agreements being more flexible, the automakers in Detroit have shifted away from that. They are quicker to idle factories to reduce supply, and they are demanding higher prices, industry officials said.

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For GM, sales dropped 15 percent.

Ford Escape sales in the month jumped 5.5% to 27,716 units but F-Series truck retail sales soared 5.8% to 69,467 units from a year ago month.

If the declines continue, this will be the first year since 2009 that sales are down across the industry. But LaNeve said there was some good news hidden in there: Ford's retail sales decline was less than those of some rivals, meaning the Blue Oval gained market share in sedans at retail. GM has promised investors to reduce inventories to 70 days by year-end.

The company, however, said Jeep sales came in at 9,842 units for July - the highest monthly total in Canada in 75 years.

- Fiat Chrysler's sales fell 10 percent to 161,477. Toyota's sales rose 3.6 percent while Subaru's were up 7 percent. Nissan saw a 3% decline, while Honda reported a 1.2% drop. Ford shares were down three percent, and Fiat Chrysler was down 0.025 percent.

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