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On the radar: July motor vehicle sales dip from June, remain relatively strong

Sales of new motor vehicles dipped to 16.8 million units (SAAR) in July, down from 17.1 million units in June and 17.4 in May. However, the level remains relatively strong overall. The data included annual revisions.

Sales of passenger cars declined to 4.6 million units in July from 4.8 million units in July, while light trucks — which includes SUVs, minivans, and crossovers — were at 12.2 million units after 12.3 million in the prior month.

Sales of domestically produced passenger cars were at 3.4 million units in July compared to 1.3 million units of foreign built passenger cars. Domestic light trucks sold were at 9.7 million units compared to foreign made units at 2.5 million. About 78% of all vehicles sold were produced domestically.

The share of passenger cars sold was about 27% of the total and the balance of 73% for light trucks. Higher gasoline prices had shifted some sales to smaller, more fuel efficient models late last year, but recent declines in prices at the pump have once again encouraged purchases of larger vehicles.

Sales of heavy truck sales fell to 516,000 units (SAAR) in July, declining for a third month in a row at a time when businesses are spending less on capital goods. However, purchases are still at high levels.

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