For the first time in the US auto industry’s 102 year history American carmakers in July commanded less than 50% of the market. Import brands accounted for 51.9% of sales in July, with GM, Chrysler and Ford making up the remaining 48.1%. Only a year ago, the statistics were reversed.

Actual vehicle sales stood at 679,523 for the imports and 629,569 for the Detroit 3, according to Automotive News, down overall by 12.4% compared with July last year. GM bore the worst of the results, its sales plummeted 22.3%, followed closely by Ford with a drop of 19.2%.

Most of the blame was centered on higher fuel prices and cash-strapped consumers faced with paying higher mortgage rates. Nissan was the only major carmaker to see a positive sales result despite an increase in the levels of incentives from most brands.

Of course, the American carmakers and automotive media will still claim that domestics are building the cars people want. It's the consumers actually buying the cars that tell us otherwise.