DETROIT -- General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group saw their combined results climb 26.5 percent in July as discount programs sent flocks of consumers to Big Three showrooms. Car sales rose modestly, up 4.2 percent, but truck demand shot up 36.7 percent.
The bevy of deals also helped foreign automakers attract customers. Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co., and Hyundai Motor Co. all said July was their best US sales month ever, even though they didn't offer similar discounts.
Of the Big Three, Ford, the nation's number two automaker behind GM, had the biggest month-over-month increase -- 35.5 percent over last July. Sales of Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury trucks gained 38 percent, while car sales rose 26.7 percent. Ford said its F-series trucks set a record for the highest monthly sales of any vehicle since the 1920s. F-series sales were up 58 percent in July to 126,905.
Chrysler said July results were the highest monthly sales in its history. Chrysler's business jumped 31.5 percent over last July, spurred by a 38.6 percent increase in truck sales, including record-setting sales of the Dodge Ram pickup.
GM, the world's largest automaker, said its sales were up 19.1 percent over last July. That was less dramatic than the 41 percent increase in June, when GM was the first automaker to introduce an employee-pricing deal, but the company said it was pleased with the results.
GM's truck sales rose 34 percent in July while car demand was off 4.6 percent.
Toyota's sales were up 12.2 percent in July while Honda's rose 14.5 percent. Nissan's 19 percent jump in business last month was led by a 24 percent increase in truck sales.
GM shares fell 33 cents to $36.53 on the New York Stock Exchange. Ford shares rose 3 cents to $10.88 and DaimlerChrysler shares gained $1.38 to end the trading day at $50.75.