Vehicle sales are slowing down despite a run on big SUVs.
Major automakers said Tuesday that their U.S. sales fell 7 percent in September and 4 percent for the June-through-September quarter, compared with the same periods last year.
Weaker numbers for September and the third quarter wiped out a 1.8 percent gain during the first half of the year, and left auto sales on pace with 2017. Some analysts had cautioned that the first-half gains were driven by incentives and low-margin sales to fleet buyers like rental car companies.
Industry officials blamed the recent weakness partly on hurricanes — in both 2017 and 2018.