U.S. auto sales continued their strong pace in July as the appetite for trucks and sport-utility vehicles overcame the fading popularity of fuel-efficient cars.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, the auto industry is on pace to break 17 million vehicle sales for the year, the strongest level in more than a decade, as continued low fuel prices, low interest rates and an old fleet of vehicles on the road have combined to power the market for new cars into a long expansion that began in 2009.
With the national average for fuel prices at $2.65 per gallon of regular gasoline, down nearly $1 from a year ago, consumers are snapping up pickup trucks and SUVs.
General Motors Co., the largest U.S. auto maker, posted a 6.4% sales increase and Ford Motor Co. rose 4.9% in the month. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said sales rose 6.2%, Nissan Motor Co. jumped 7.8% and Honda Motor Co. said sales rose 7.7%. Toyota Motor Corp. said sales rose less 1% off of a strong July 2014.
The six largest auto makers, which account for about 70% of the market, had a sales increase of 5.3% to 1,167,647 for July, as other companies continue to report sales throughout the day.