Sales of U.S. passenger cars decline in July

Sales of U.S. passenger cars decline in July

Overall Ford sales in the United States dropped by 7.5 percent in July to 200,212 units, mostly because of a decline in fleet sales.

Investors sold off shares in the three automakers in Detroit Tuesday.

The Ford brand declined 7.7 percent in July, and the Lincoln brand fell 2.5 percent.

The annualized pace of USA auto and light truck sales in July fell to 16.73 million vehicles, down from 17.8 million vehicles a year earlier, according to Autodata Corp, which tracks industry sales.

Several of the big automakers, including Ford, GM, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Nissan Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. announced they sharply reduced sales of rental cars during July, and portrayed those choices as placing profit in front of sales volume. With more flexible labor agreements, the Detroit automakers have shifted course.

Police Interceptor Utility sales rose by 7.3 percent last month, while Police Interceptor Sedan sales dropped by 23.4.

Sales of the Calumet Region-made Ford Explorer shot up by 12.9 percent in July with 18,763 of the sport utility vehicles sold across the country. The carmaker had a supply of 104 days as of July 31, which was down from its end of June mark of 105 days.

GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler have said second-half financial results likely will be lower than first-half results, in part reflecting production cuts in North America and pricing pressures. Instead of paring incentives after the July 4 holiday weekend as usual, automakers left them high throughout the month and still didn't have great sales to show for it, said Thomas King, a vice president with market researcher J.D. Power. The Dearborn, Mich. -based automaker's fleet sales dropped by 26.4 percent to 40,720 units partly because of a Transit recall delivery hold.