DETROIT ( TheStreet) -- Ford ( F - Get Report) said its July sales fell 4% as fleet sales declined.

The automaker said overall sales totaled 173,966. Retail sales rose 2% but fleet sales declined 16%. Ford sales had been expected to decline by somewhat less. Fleet sales typically decline in July, disproportionately impacting the Detroit Three.

Elsewhere, Chrysler and Volkswagen were reporting sales gains Wednesday morning as the auto industry rolled out July sales numbers, which are expected to increase.

On the bright side for Ford, Fusion sales rose 21% to 23,326, its best July ever, and auto sales rose 3.5%. Explorer sales rose 14.3% to 11,313, the best July since 2006. F-Series rose 0.4% to 49,314. In California, Focus sales rose 58% in July, and retail sales rose 88%.

Overall, truck sales declined 9%, largely because of the discontinuation of the Ford Ranger, which sold just 413 units, down from 6,410 a year earlier. Also, Lincoln sales fell 10.7% to 6,975. Sales of the Ford Escape fell 11.6% to 21,572 and sales of the Fiesta fell 23.4% to 4,059.

Meanwhile, Chrysler said its sales rose 13% to 126,089 units, its best July sales since 2007.

Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Fiat brands all posted sales increases in July compared with the same month a year earlier. Chrysler brand sales grew 35% to lead the group. Leading models were the Chrysler 200 midsize sedan, up 43%, and the Dodge Journey crossover, up 69%. Also, Volkswagen said its July sales rose 27.3% to 37,014, the highest level for July since 1973.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

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