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US auto sales slip for major automakers in Q2

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US auto sales slip for major automakers in Q2

Most automakers posted year-over-year declines in U.S. new vehicle sales for the second quarter of 2019, as sales of SUVs and trucks continue to dominate the market.

An S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis found that passenger car sales in the U.S. for the quarter dropped 8.7% to 1.3 million units on a nonseasonally adjusted basis, versus 1.42 million units in the second quarter of 2018.

Sales of trucks, minivans and SUVs for the period totaled 3.13 million units, up 2.3% from the 2018 figure of 3.06 million units.

The overall nonseasonally adjusted U.S. vehicle sales for the period fell 1.2% to 4.43 million units, versus 4.48 million units a year ago.

Detroit-based General Motors Co. sold 746,659 vehicles in the second quarter of 2019, a 1.5% decline year over year.

Elaine Buckberg, chief economist at General Motors, said demand was better than expected during the first half of the year and the company expects strong performance during the second half. Lower financing costs will support auto sales if the Fed cuts rates, Buckberg said.

The company's total U.S. vehicle sales during the first half of 2019 fell 4.2% year over year to 1,412,499 units.

Ford Motor Co. posted a 4.1% year-over-year decline in its total U.S. sales for the quarter. The automaker sold 650,336 vehicles, compared with 678,110 in the year-ago quarter.

In the quarter, Ford sold 324,243 trucks, up 7.5% from 301,626 in the second quarter of 2018.

Mark LaNeve, Ford's vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, attributed the drop in total U.S. sales to the company's shift away from passenger sedans. In April 2018, Ford said it will no longer invest in new generations of traditional Ford sedans for North America as demand and product profitability declined.

Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. registered a 1.4% year-over-year drop in second-quarter U.S. sales to 608,392 vehicles.

Sales at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV declined 0.5% year over year. The automaker sold 597,685 units during the quarter, compared with 600,707 units sold in the second quarter of 2018.

Ford's F-Series took the first spot in the list of top-selling cars, trucks and SUVs in the U.S. during the quarter, with 233,787 pickups sold. F-Series sales dropped 1.3% over the previous year.

Fiat Chrysler's Ram pickup took the second place behind the F-Series, with 179,454 vehicles sold, a year-over-year increase of 38.5%.

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