U.S. carmakers slashed daily rental sales in July

DETROIT (Reuters) – U.S. carmakers said on Tuesday they continued to slash sales to daily rental fleets in July, as General Motors Co (GM.N), Ford Motor Co (F.N) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCHA.MI)(FCAU.N) reported lower overall sales during the month.

GM sales dropped 15 percent from a year ago, to 226,107, as the company cut rental fleet sales more than 80 percent. The automaker said inventories of unsold vehicles at month end were 104 days, down marginally from 105 days at the end of June. GM is aiming to reduce inventories to 70 days by year end.

GM said the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate fell to an estimated 16.9 million vehicles in July. Last year, U.S. sales were 17.55 million.

Ford said its July sales dipped 7.5 percent, to 200,212, as it cut fleet sales more than 26 percent. FCA said sales dropped 10 percent, to 161,477, as it cut back sales to daily rental fleets.

Sales to rental fleets usually generate thin profit margins.

Reporting by Joe White and Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Frances Kerry