Edmunds Forecast: July Auto Sales to See Biggest Drop of the Year

Auto sales are expected to experience the biggest drop of the year in July, according to the latest analysis from Edmunds. The pressure is on manufacturers to increase incentives to help sell the remaining 2017 models.

The expert analysts at Edmunds forecast that 1,423,097 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in July. That represents a 3.1 percent decrease in sales from June 2017 and a 6.2 percent decrease from July 2016.

"July is historically a strong month, but with disappointing sales and inventories still building, something needs to give," said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds executive director of industry analysis. "A lot is riding on late-summer sales events to help move vehicles before 2018 models start arriving at dealer lots.

"Production slowdowns will help address some of the inventory issues, but consumers may be waiting for automakers to loosen the purse strings on incentives to get them to pull the trigger on making a purchase," Caldwell said.

Edmunds also estimates that 3.4 million used vehicles will be sold in July 2017, up from 3.2 million last month.

Among major manufacturers, the month-to-month sales leader for July is expected to be Hyundai/Kia, which will experience a 9 percent increase (120,655 new vehicles sold, compared to 110,650 in June 2017). Other winners will be Honda with a 4.3 percent jump (145,840 units, up from 139,793 last month) and Toyota with an increase of 2.2 percent (206,850 sales, compared to 202,376 in June).

Edmunds forecasts that none of the major automakers will see year-over-year increases in July.

The biggest year-over-year losses are expected to be from GM, which will be down 10.8 percent (238,465 vehicles sold, compared to 267,258 in July 2016) and Hyundai/Kia with a 10.6 percent drop (120,655, down from 134,972 at this time last year). Fiat Chrysler is forecast to be off 7 percent, year over year. Audi/VW will be down 5.2 percent, Ford will drop 5 percent, Honda 4.6 percent, Toyota 3.4 percent and Nissan 1 percent.

More insight into recent auto industry trends can be found in the Edmunds Industry Center.