Detroit’s car companies reported deep sales declines in June, capping a bumpy first half of the year for the U.S. auto industry and setting a bleak tone for the summer selling season.
The reports, released Monday, come as analysts expect overall auto sales to have fallen more than 2% in June compared with the prior year, according to JD Power. The firm said the industry’s selling pace hit its lowest point since 2014 over the first six months of 2017, and traffic at dealerships — measured by retail sales — fell to a five-year nadir in June.
Edmunds.com, a consumer-research company, said Monday that buyers are stretching more than ever to afford cars and trucks that are getting increasingly more expensive due to a barrage of safety gear and connectivity options. The firm estimates the average auto-loan length reached an all-time high of 69.3 months in June, helping finance an average amount of $30,945, up $631 from May.
General Motors Co. said sales fell 5% to 243,155 vehicles, Ford Motor Co. said sales totaled 227,979 vehicles — down 5.1% compared with the prior June.
Japan’s top sellers fared better during the period.
Honda Motor Co. reported a 1% increase compared with the previous June with 139,793 vehicles sold, aided by gains at its Acura luxury division, while Nissan Motor Co. sold 143,328 vehicles, or 2% more than the prior year, as it ramps up its reliance on trucks. Toyota Motor Corp. notched a 2.1% gain with 202,376 vehicles sold.
Write to Mike Colias at Mike.Colias@wsj.com and Adrienne Roberts at Adrienne.Roberts@wsj.com