Several major automakers, including GM, Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Nissan Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. said they sharply reduced rental vehicle sales in July, and they portrayed the decisions as putting profit ahead of sales volume. Ford said total vehicle sales for last month tumbled 7.5% from a year, as a 19.4% plunge in auto sales and a 7.1% slide in truck sales offset a 2.2% rise in SUV sales.
Ford Motor Company's stock price fell almost 3% following the release of its July sales report.
Although sales remain at respectable levels historically, USA automakers set full-year records in 2015 and 2016 - but automakers are not selling their popular crossover, sport-utility, and pickup truck models at a level to offset customers' abandonment of sedans and other traditional cars.
In the United States, GM sales dropped 15 percent to 226,107 from a year earlier as the company cut sales to daily rental fleet by more than 80 percent. Toyota's sales rose 3.6 percent while Subaru's were up 7 percent. New vehicle sales hit a record 17.55 million past year. Separately, rival General Motors Co.'s stock slid 3% after reporting July vehicle sales fell 14%. Fiat Chrysler had a 10 percent drop. Fiat Chrysler has killed several models it once sold to fleets.
Canada's economy grew by 0.6 percent in May from a month earlier, Statistics Canada said last month, exceeding economists' forecasts for 0.2 percent. Only the Ford F-series, up 6 percent, improved on year-ago results among major truck models. Auto shopping site Edmunds said the average price paid for a new vehicle in July was $34,558, 2 percent higher than the same month a year ago. 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.