Auto sales sputtering for 7th straight month

General Motors retail sales decreased 14.4

General Motors retail sales decreased 14.4

The company, however, said Jeep sales came in at 9,842 units for July - the highest monthly total in Canada in 75 years.

Investors sold shares in the Detroit Three automakers on Tuesday. Ford Motor Co. was down about 2.5%, while General Motors Co. fell by 3.5%.

Although sales remain at respectable levels historically, US automakers set full-year records in 2015 and 2016 - but automakers are not selling their popular crossover, sport-utility, and pickup truck models at a level to offset customers' abandonment of sedans and other traditional cars.

General Motors Co said on Tuesday it sold 25,852 vehicles in July in Canada, up 22 percent from a year earlier - a striking contrast to the company's performance in its home market.

Sales to rental fleets usually generate thin profit margins. With labor agreements being more flexible, the automakers in Detroit have shifted away from that. The Explorer accounts for most of the production volume at the plant at Torrence Avenue and 126th Street, and sales have risen 6.4 percent to 137,224 through the first six months of the year.

Ford's sales excluding heavy trucks declined 7.4 percent, as passenger-car deliveries dropped 19 percent.

More troubling for Detroit were the combined sales of the industry's large pickups dropping by 4%, while sales of the large SUVs was down a dramatic 20%. The carmaker had a supply of 104 days as of July 31, which was down from its end of June mark of 105 days.

GM did not gain much ground trying to reduce the inventories of its 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. Sales of the Ford Fusion midsize sedan dropped 42 percent, while sales of the Chevrolet Spark subcompact fell a whopping 82 percent.

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