Published: Thu, August 03, 2017
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

Ford is falling after a lacklustre sales report

Ford is falling after a lacklustre sales report

Carmakers have used lower-margin sales to rental fleets as a way to avoid shutdowns in plants.

The other two major American auto companies, GM and Fiat Chrysler, reported -15% and -10.5% year-over-year sales, respectively, both well short of analyst expectations.

Analysts have been predicting lower sales this year as demand levels out after an unprecedented seven straight years of growth.

"Driven by our enormous success with our crossover portfolio, it is like we have sold an extra months' worth of retail sales so far this year", John Roth, vice president of sales, service and marketing at GM Canada said in a statement.

Ford's sales excluding heavy trucks declined 7.4 percent, as passenger-car deliveries dropped 19 percent. Toyota, however, was able to sell more, reporting a 3.6 percent sales gain. New vehicle sales hit a record 17.55 million past year. Sales of Ford's midsize Fusion declined 42.2 percent.

GM gained little ground in its effort to reduce inventories of unsold vehicles. Ford also cut fleet sales by 26 percent, and had to stop sales of its Transit commercial van for a few weeks for a recall. Car-shopping site Edmunds.com said the average price paid for a new vehicle in July was $34,558, 2% higher than the same month a year ago.

Ford said in July that sales fell by 7.5%, but inventory was reduced from 79 days at the end of June to 77 at the end of July.

Ford's sales were down 7.5 percent, Fiat Chrysler's declined 10 percent, Volkswagen's fell 5.8 percent, Nissan's fell 3 percent and Honda's were down 1.2 percent. "A strong real estate market, especially with regard to new home construction, in conjunction with low fuel prices, generous incentives and improved product offerings will help to keep truck sales strong".

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