Fri 11 am: Auto industry reports big July gains

Big discounts helped keep U.S. auto sales sizzling in July.

General Motors, Ford, Nissan and Chrysler all reported big gains on July auto sales, triggered in part by big discounts, July auto sales numbers, released this morning, show.

Still, the Lordstown-built Chevy Cruze dropped about 4,500, or 18 percent, for the month to 20,926. Still, GM sales rose 9 percent overall, on strong demand for its new large SUVs.

Industrywide, sales are expected to rise 5 percent to 1.4 million, according to J.D. Power and Associates. That would make it the best July for the industry since 2006.

Generous summer discounts helped boost sales, said Jesse Toprak, auto sales chief analyst at Toprak said the average price buyers paid fell 4 percent in July, while incentives were up 8 percent – or $216 per vehicle – over last July.

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