Sales of those profitable workhorses slipped only 0.8 percent compared with double-digit declines for compact and mid-sized cars, according to estimates from Kelley Blue Book.
Ford's fleet sales - the sales of vehicles to rental auto firms, corporations, government agencies, and utility companies - were down 26.4% in the second quarter of 2017. With labor agreements being more flexible, the automakers in Detroit have shifted away from that. Fiat Chrysler has killed several models it once sold to fleets.
Big rental auto businesses in the US like Avis Budget and Hertz are also restructuring their own fleets as their values drop for the rental vehicles they resell, and as ride-hailing services like Uber take a bite of their business.
Declining sales could leave the Detroit Three with too many plants in North America, Jeff Schuster, a forecaster with LMC Automotive, said on Tuesday at an industry conference in Traverse City, Mich.
Only Ford's F-series, which increased 6%, improved on results from one year ago amongst the major truck models.
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In a more troubling sign for Detroit, combined sales of large pickups fell 4 percent, and sales of large sport utility vehicles declined by 20 percent.
GM did not gain much ground trying to reduce the inventories of its unsold vehicles. The automaker had 104 days of supply at the end of July, down from 105 days at the end of June. Volume topped 19 million shares within the first 30 minutes after the open, already more than half the full-day average, and enough to make the stock the most actively traded on the major USA exchanges.
Retail sales fell by only 1%, with Ford's share of the retail market actually increasing over the last three months inluding July.
Deliveries plunged 15 percent for GM and 10 percent for Fiat Chrysler, both bigger decreases than analysts projected in a Bloomberg News survey.