U.S. light-vehicle deliveries in July failed to meet industry expectations mainly due to weaker-than-expected results from General Motors.

LV sales totaled 1.151 million for a daily selling rate of 47,991 units over the month’s 24 selling days. The result was up 18.1% compared with year-ago’s 40,634 deliveries over 26 days.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate for July of 14.1 million units fell below June’s SAAR of 14.3 million, but was well ahead of year-ago’s 12.4 million. (Note that the Bureau of Economic Analysis revised its historical factors for determining seasonal rates back to January 2009, changing the final SAARs for several months in that period.)

July’s SAAR was the lowest since May’s 13.9 million units. The year-to-date total through July remained unchanged from the first-half total of 14.1 million.

Market leader GM’s 1.4% year-over-year increase was disappointing, given that its results in the first six months were up just 4.3%.

GM’s performance lagged the industry’s 14.9% rise through June. However that largely is credited to the favorable comparisons with the Asian auto maker’s 2011 losses because of the tsunami that struck Japan, thereby lifting the industry to artificially high year-over-year increases.

Nevertheless, GM’s 17.5% share in July was well below its 18.2% year-to-date pace through June.

Ford reported a 3.8% gain, compared with year-ago, with a 14.8% share to help it retain its No.2 sales slot, although it was challenged by Toyota.

Toyota’s 14.3% share pushed ahead of year-ago’s 12.4% as the auto maker continued to rebound from 2011’s tsunami-induced slowdown. LV deliveries soared 36.6% in July from like-2011, and year-to-date results jumped 28.3%, the largest increase among major U.S. auto makers.

Chrysler followed close behind in year-to-date comparisons, with its 7-month sales up 27.5%. The auto maker’s July results surged 21.8% for the 28th consecutive month of year-over-year increases. July’s 10.9% share drove past year-ago’s 10.6%, but still was less than the auto maker’s 11.4% in the year’s first half.

Honda’s sales spiked 57.4% in July, pushing its share to 10.2% from 9.7% in June and 7.6% year-ago.

Nissan deliveries climbed 25.9% in July from like-2011, marking its 14th consecutive gain dating back to June 2011. The results reflected the company’s quick rebound from last year’s slump, compared with other Japanese auto makers that continued to suffer losses into second-half 2011.

hstoddard@wardsauto.com