United States automakers warn that industry has peaked as August sales slow

Sales of new light vehicles were still up 3.7 per cent year-to-date compared to 2015.

General Motors' sales dropped 5 per cent from last August while Ford's sales were down 8 per cent. Toyota's sales were down 5 per cent, Honda's fell 4 per cent and Nissan's dropped 6.5 per cent. Volkswagen's sales dropped 9 per cent.

Deliveries of its highly profitable large pickups fell: Chevrolet Silverado sales were down 4.7 percent and GMC Sierra fell 18 percent.

Automakers offered a positive take on the numbers, saying the average amount customers paid for a auto or truck - the average transaction price or ATP - had increased.

USA auto sales fell about 3.5 percent in August, and some major automakers said a long-expected sales decline has begun or, at best, that sales have hit a plateau, which may spark a shift to juicer customer incentives and slowed production.

Incentives were lower than in July, when GM offered 20 percent cash back on several Chevrolet models, according to vehicle-shopping website TrueCar. Low gas prices, low interest rates and strong consumer confidence should keep people buying, even if it's at a slower pace. Fiat Chrysler dropped 1.2 percent in NY trading.In late July, Ford was the first major automaker to confirm the lofty sales gains achieved since 2010 were at an end, even though they are still about 65 percent higher than the lowest sales year in 2009.Mark LaNeve, Ford's USA sales chief, said on Thursday the company will ring up fewer sales in 2017 than this year.

Ford reported an 8% sales decline.

"It's too close to call whether 2016 will surpass 2015's record-setting sales", senior analyst Michelle Krebs of Autotrader told AFP. The Jeep brand posted a sales gain of 12% year over year as the Jeep Cherokee posted a sales gain of 41%, the Compass posted a monthly sales gain of 29% and Grand Cherokee sales rose 12%.

Sales of new vehicles stumbled in August and as a result General Motors, Ford, Nissan and Toyota all reported significant drops sales year over year but transaction prices continued to increase right along with incentives, analysts said. However, GM's retail sales fell about 5 per cent, in line with its wider total sales decline.

GM says its rental sales are down 34 percent so far this year.

General Motors and Ford Motor Co. posted lower US sales in July while volume at Nissan Motor Co., behind record crossover and truck demand, rose 1.2 percent.At GM, deliveries slipped 1.9 percent. A 7 percent rise at Lincoln offset some of the decline at the bigger Ford division. Ford reported a whopping 27 percent decline in vehicle sales, reflecting buyers' overwhelming preference for SUVs. Despite the drop, average prices continued to climb, which support profits even if industrywide sales were to fall this year for the first time in seven years.

Ford's F-Series lineup, the best-selling nameplate in the US, dropped 6.1% to 66,946 units sold during the month.

Fiat Chrysler's sales rose 3 percent to 196,756.

Sales slumped 13 percent at Mazda and 9.1 percent at the VW brand, where US volume has slid every month beginning with November as the company struggles to move past violations of USA diesel emissions rules. But Ram, Jeep and Dodge sales were up. SUV demand remained strong; Rogue small SUV sales were up 19 percent. That figure was down 2.2 percent from July 2016, as automakers launched sales to clear out 2016 models.

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