DETROIT—Auto makers reported mixed U.S. auto sales for July, amid rising incentives and sustained demand for trucks, as the industry kicked off the second half of the year with a slight gain.
Nissan Motor Co. s deliveries rose a scant 1.2 percent. FCA US gained less than a percent and General Motors' sales slipped just under 2 percent. At Ford Motor Co., which warned last week of a rough third quarter, volume fell 3 percent. Sales rose at Honda but slipped at Toyota.
The July results are being scrutinized amid signs consumers are becoming more sensitive to new-vehicle pricing and a growing concern that the U.S. market is leveling off after six consecutive years of gains since the Great Recession. In the first half of the year sales rose 1.4 percent to 8.6 million cars and light trucks.
The new vehicle market has become “very price sensitive,” Mark LaNeve, Ford's U.S. sales chief, said on a conference call with journalists and analysts. He said Ford saw a “fairly dramatic decrease” in lease volume after undertaking “modest increases in our lease prices” in July.
Ahead of the Aug. 2 reports, U.S. light vehicle deliveries in July were forecast to rise slightly from the same month a year ago. The final tally won't be known immediately, however, as Jaguar Land Rover said a technical glitch will keep it from recording sales along with the rest of the industry.
Without July results from Jaguar, Land Rover and Porsche, industry sales were 0.4 percent higher last month compared to July 2015, and just 1 percent higher for the year. The industry faces a tough comparison with the second half of 2015, when sales were notably robust in September, October and November.