US sales of cars and light trucks fell for the fifth month in a row, as major car makers continue to cut rental fleet sales.
Sales dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16.69 million, down 4.9 per cent from last year’s annual record of 17.55 million.
GM, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, Nissan and Hyundai all said they sharply reduced rental car sales in July, choosing to put profit ahead of sales volume, Reuters reports.
As vehicle stock continues to increase in the US, car makers have sold excess cars to rental fleets at a low margin in a bid to avoid factory shutdowns.
Combined sales of large pickup trucks fell four per cent, according to Reuters, and sales of large SUVs declined 20 per cent.
The Ford F-Series (which includes the Ranger in New Zealand) was the only major truck model to see an improvement, with July sales up 5.8 per cent compared to 2016.
Sales of the Toyota RAV4 had the highest increase among the 20 top-selling vehicle models, up 31 per cent.