U.S. sales may fall for 7th straight month

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Even if the industry does snap its streak with a small July gain, analysts say it likely wouldn’t be a long-term trend.

“A lot of people are enjoying vacations and family time in July, so it’s generally not a strong month for auto sales,” Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds’ senior manager of insights, said in a statement. “The extra selling day makes things look a little better than they really are, and we still believe sales will continue to trend downward through the back half of the year.”

Incentive spending is expected to be mixed in July.

TrueCar’s ALG says incentive spending will fall 2.6 percent to $3,671 per vehicle, while it estimates the average transaction price for a new vehicle will rise 2.7 percent, or $897.

J.D. Power, meanwhile, is calling for per unit average incentive spending of $4,074, up from $3,849 last year, but that’s still in lockstep with the trend of customers buying higher-priced vehicles.

“Despite the continued slowdown in sales, consumers are expected to spend more than $2 billion more on new vehicles than last year,” Thomas King, senior vice president of the data and analytics division at J.D. Power, said in a statement. “This is a clear reflection that manufacturers are building the types of vehicles that shoppers want. Consumer expenditures in July of $39 billion represents the highest level for the month since 2017.”

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