U.S. car sales down after two-year streak of record business



U.S. car sales hit a slowdown in June — promising to end a two-year streak of record business for automakers.


A steady decline in the sale of small cars and sedans in the first half of 2017 has the industry worried, according to a Tuesday report in USA Today.


Sales fell roughly 2% compared to the same time frame a year ago — but the biggest drop came last month.


June saw a 3% decline in sales from the same month in 2016, USA Today said.

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The Detroit Three — General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler — all suffered a recent sale slowdown. Ford dropped 3.8% in the first six months of 2017.

The Detroit Three — General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler — all suffered a recent sale slowdown. Ford dropped 3.8% in the first six months of 2017.

(Maxim Shemetov/REUTERS)


The slowdown only affected smaller cars and sedans. But it was still enough to send some ripples of concern through the U.S. auto world.


It now appears unlikely 2017 will match the all-time record of 17.6 million sales in 2016.


“Clearly we have an industry that has peaked,” Mark LaNeve, Ford’s vice president of sales, told USA Today.


But it’s still “a very good industry. I will take it all day long.”

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“Clearly we have an industry that has peaked,” Mark LaNeve, Ford’s vice president of sales, said.

(Gary Malerba/AP)


Automakers are pulling in healthy profits despite the drop-off in activity for certain models and makes.


With gas prices still on the low side, consumers are willing to take the plunge and buy — and the affordable fuel prices are likely responsible for the interest in larger vehicles, like SUVS and pick-up trucks, USA Today said.


“We still believe that 2017 will be another solid year,” Toyota sales chief Bill Fay told the newspaper.


The Detroit Three — General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler — all suffered a sale slowdown in the first six months of the year.

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General Motors was down 1.8%, Ford dropped 3.8% and Fiat Chrysler declined 6.9%, USA Toda reported.


Toyota and Honda also suffered drops in the first half of 2017 while Nissan had a modest increase in sales and Subaru saw a 9% increase.


Korean automaker Hyundai saw a 7.4% decline while Kia, its sister brand, saw sales fall 9.9%.

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