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GM and Ford see auto sales fall in July as rivals post gains

August 01, 2012|By Jerry Hirsch
  • A customer look over a Ford Escape sports utility vehicle at a dealership in Colma, Calif.
A customer look over a Ford Escape sports utility vehicle at a dealership… (Bloomberg )

General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. lost ground to their automotive rivals last month, according to U.S. auto sales figures released Wednesday.

Of the Detroit automakers, only Chrysler Group saw a year-over-year sales gain in July.

Overall, automakers are on an annual pace to sell about 14 million vehicles. Analysts said the industry is holding steady despite shaky consumer confidence, slow job growth and economic uncertainty resulting from the European debt crisis.

"The market is stuck in second gear. It is not bad, but it is not phenomenal," said Jesse Toprak, an analyst with auto pricing company

GM said it sold 201,237 vehicles in July, down 6.4% compared with a year ago.

The automaker is seeing sales of two popular Chevrolet passenger cars slump. Sales of the Cruze compact fell 39% while sales of the Malibu family sedan plunged 37%.

Fewer purchases by rental car companies also contributed to its July decline, GM said.

Ford said its sales fell 3.8% to 173,966 vehicles. Part of Ford's decline came from models it has discontinued since last year, including the  Ranger pickup truck and the large Crown Victoria sedan.

Chrysler sales rose 13% to 126,089 vehicles, the automaker’s best July sales since 2007.

Toyota Motor Corp. said its July sales in the U.S. rose 26.1% to 164,898 vehicles.

Nissan North America said its U.S. sales rose 16.2% to 98,341 vehicles.

Sales of the Volkswagen brand rose 27.3% to 37,014 vehicles.

Hyundai Motor America sales rose 4% to 62,021


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