New car sales for July in the US have slowed from the solid growth pace of the first six months of the year. General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) reported sales down by -6.4% year-over-year and -19% month-over-month. Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) reported that sales fell by -3.8%. Both GM and Ford reported significantly lower fleet sales in July.
Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) said sales were up 26% year-over-year, but the comparison is to sales in the aftermath of last year’s tsunami and earthquake. Month-over-month, however, Toyota’s sales fell -7.3%.
Chrysler Group LLC said US sales rose 12.6% year-over-year and Volkswagen AG reported a sales jump of 27.3% in July.
Analysts are predicting new car sales for 2012 of between 14.1 and 14.4 million units. In the first half of the year, sales have been up about 14.8% over the July 2011 growth rate of 12.7 million units.
Sales of cars and light trucks in the US totaled 13.04 million units in 2011. At a growth rate of 14.8%, that would mean nearly 15 million units would be sold in the US this year. Analysts are looking for sales growth of around 10% in 2012, which would total about 14.34 million units.
In the event, then, today’s numbers might be something of a disappointment, but unless the slide continues, new car sales look to be up as expected this year if not as much as some had hoped.
Who gets what share is the main issue, and neither GM nor Ford appears to have the inside track for growth there. Volkswagen, Toyota, and Chrysler are clear leaders in growth this year.
Shares of GM are up 1.3% at $19.97 in a 52-week range of $18.72-$27.68. Shares of Ford are are down about -0.5% at $9.15 in a 52-week range of $8.83-$13.05. Shares of Toyota are up about 0.4% at $76.79 in a 52-week range of $60.37-$87.15.