US Car Sales Expected to Fall Sharply in July

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Car sales in the United States continue to fall after two record years. According to a forecast by research firm Kelley Blue Book (KBB), sales of all brands will drop nearly 6% in July compared to the same month last year, and the figures for some of the largest manufacturers will be much worse.

According to KBB analysts:

This month, vehicle sales are expected to fall 5.7 percent year-over-year, resulting in an estimated 16.7 million SAAR. Kelley Blue Book expects the annual selling pace to remain below 17 million SAAR in July with volume dipping slightly from the levels seen in May and June 2017.

Among all automakers, Subaru is likely to see the only volume growth among all major automakers, while General Motors is expected to see the most significant drop in market share. At the segment level, market share for compact SUVs continues to lead. Full-size trucks are projected to post the smallest volume decline among all segments and gain nearly one point of share this month.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) will carry much of the brunt of the fall. The GM line up includes Chevy, GMC, Buick and Cadillac. The sales of the largest U.S. car company will collapse 9.1% to 243,000. Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM), which has the Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands, will take over the number two spot in sales from Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), which sells the Ford and Lincoln brands and usually holds that spot. Ford sales are expected to fall 6.2% in July to 203,000. Toyota sales are expected to drop 4.3% to 205,000. The third U.S. car company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) will suffer a sales drop of 6.9% to 168,000. Fiat sells Fiat, Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler and Ram.

South Korean brands will post the worst drop of July, according to KBB. Sales of Hyundai-Kia are expected to fall 11.1% to 120,000.

Two of the smallest manufacturers that sell cars in America are expected to dodge the trend. Subaru, which has been the hottest selling brand in the country for months, should post a sales increase of 3.7% to 54,000. Its inexpensive, rugged, all-wheel drive cars have sold so quickly that dealers can barely keep them in stock based on “days on lot” figures. Volkswagen, which sells Audi, VW and Porsche, has shaken off the effects of its diesel scandal. Its sales are expected to be flat at 51,000. However, much of the strength of its sales are its two luxury brands.