Annualized U.S. light-vehicle sales looked to remain stubbornly below 10 million in June despite signs of improved retail business, as well as continuing gains in other key global markets. Ford Motor Co. beat expectations with an 11% year-on-year decline while General Motors Corp., Toyota Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC all lagged, with executives noting a softening in domestic sales at the end of the month.
The sharp declines at GM and Chrysler, 33% and 42% respectively, were caused in part by tumbling fleet sales, as the companies tightened their inventories and dealers reduced their stock of vehicles. Fleet sales fell 49% and 95%, respectively. Still, Chrysler noted its retail market share rose by a percentage point from a year earlier to 9% while GM said its retail sales rose month-to-month for a fourth straight time.