Explorer sales rose 12.9 percent in July

July sales: GM down 15%, FCA down 10%, Ford down 7.5%

Automakers have used low-margin sales to rental fleets to avoid factory shutdowns.

Several of the big automakers, including Ford, GM, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Nissan Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. announced they sharply reduced sales of rental cars during July, and portrayed those choices as placing profit in front of sales volume.

After seven years of US auto sales growth, this year's persistent slump - and anxiety over upheavals from electrification, autonomy and mobility services - has investors shunning automakers as benchmark stock indexes graze record highs.

GM said sales to United States commercial vehicle fleets rose by 40 percent in July to 17,300 vehicles, and noted that commercial fleet sales can be as profitable as retail sales.

Ford's sales excluding heavy trucks declined 7.4 percent, as passenger-car deliveries dropped 19 percent.

Taurus sales are down 0.8 percent so far in 2017, and fell by 0.3 percent in July to 2,224 units sold. New vehicle sales hit a record 17.55 million a year ago.

7-month-old boy found dead in hot vehicle
The deaths were the first and second cases of a child dying of heat stroke in a sweltering vehicle this year, Sgt. Mercedes Fortune told The Washington Post . "You feel like it's something that could happen to anybody".

Vikings Sign CB Xavier Rhodes To Contract Extension
The Vikings announced Sunday that Rhodes had signed a contract extension, but didn't disclose the terms of the deal. Last week, the Vikings signed defensive end Everson Griffen to a five-year, $58 million extension.

Ninkovich retirement could be coming
Ninkovich choked up several times during his delivery, including when he spoke directly to Belichick. He also appeared in 16 postseason games, collecting 34 tackles, six sacks and an interception.

Mark LaNeve, Ford Motor Co.'s US sales chief, said automakers have been preparing for lower sales this year. Ford also cut fleet sales by 26 percent, and had to stop sales of its Transit commercial van for a few weeks for a recall.

Sales of mid-size cars are expected to fall 14.5 percent in July, compared to a year ago, and compact sedans to fall 10.6 percent, USA Today reported, citing Kelley Blue Book.

Retail sales fell by only 1%, with Ford's share of the retail market actually increasing over the last three months inluding July.

Fiat Chrysler posted a 3 percent drop in monthly sales in Canada, as its Dodge and Chrysler brands weighed on sales.

Gutierrez said buyers can expect incentives to rise by about $200 in August and September.

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