DETROIT – Ford Motor Co.'s (F) U.S. car and truck sales fell 11 percent in June and the company lost market share again to Asian rivals as demand slowed throughout the entire industry.
Ford's sales for its U.S. brands dropped for the 12th time in 14 months and were weaker than analysts had expected. The Chrysler arm of DaimlerChrysler AG (DCX), which reported higher U.S. sales, is expected to be alone among the Detroit automakers in posting a sales gain. General Motors Corp. (GM) is expected to report weaker sales later Thursday.
"On balance, the results so far look quite soft," David Sloan, an economist with 4 Cast Ltd., said in a statement.
Shares of Ford, GM and DaimlerChrysler were all lower in early afternoon trading.
U.S. vehicle sales, forecast to fall from the previous year's levels for the first time since last July, weakened last month because May results were far above expectations and pulled forward some sales.
"Everybody was saying that June was a challenging month," said Jed Connelly, the head of Nissan North America's sales and marketing. "One of the things I tell our guys ... take a look at May and June and divide by two. May was bigger than it maybe should have been."
Nissan sales rose 9 percent in June, but the Japanese automaker had routinely recorded double-digit gains in sales in past months. Nissan's Infiniti luxury brand had its best June ever, due to strong sales of its new QX56 sport utility vehicle.
A GM official said last week that industry totals are expected to drop to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 16.3 million vehicles in June, down sharply from the 17.8 million rate in May, the strongest month since sales hit nearly a two-year high in August last year.
Sales rates in June are adjusted for an extra selling day vs. the same month last year.
Ford's new F-Series pickup truck, critical to Ford's earnings, showed a slight 1 percent gain in sales, while results for its top-selling Ford Explorer (search) sport utility vehicle dropped 18 percent.
Chrysler strengthened due to the success of its new 300 sports sedan. Chrysler has had difficulty keeping up with demand for the flagship car, which has been selling briskly at dealership lots.
Ford sales fell 57 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $15.08 on the New York Stock Exchange (search). GM shares dropped 71 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $45.88, while DaimlerChrysler fell 60 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $46.47, also on the NYSE.