DETROIT – General Motors and Ford lost ground to Japanese automakers last month as their rivals made a strong comeback from last year's earthquake.
General Motors' July sales fell 6 percent from a year earlier, while Ford's slipped 4 percent. By contrast, Toyota posted a 26-percent jump and Nissan's sales rose 16 percent. GM blamed the decline on a planned drop in sales to rental car companies, but its retail sales to individual buyers also fell.
Industry sales overall are expected to rise 11 percent for July, boosted by summer clearance deals and low-cost financing. Analysts predict big gains for the Japanese, which couldn't supply enough models to U.S showrooms last summer after production was hobbled by Japan's earthquake.
Automakers are reporting U.S. sales throughout Wednesday.