Honda, with a line of fuel-efficient cars including the Fit (Jazz), Civic and Civic hybrid, is expected to be the winner in this month's sales race in the United States with a 13.3% year on year rise as total new vehicle volume sinks 3.3% to 1.26m units, according to analysts at Edmunds.com.

July 2008 has 26 selling days, two more than July 2007. Adjusted for this difference, sales will decrease 10.7% from July 2007, Edmunds said.

"The combined market share for compact cars, compact trucks and compact SUVs is near its all-time high," executive director of industry analysis Jesse Toprak said. "We expect these three segments to make up around 35% of the total market in July, compared to just 23% in July of 2003."

Edmunds estimated Detroit's combined monthly market share at 44.4%, down from 49.4% in July 2007 and 46.4% last month.

GM sales are forecast down 15.7% year on year to 266,000 units, Chrysler off 14.8% to 117,000 and Ford down 7.4% to 176,000 units.

"Recent headlines regarding downgraded annual sales forecasts, adjustments in production schedules and boosts in incentives foreshadow another dismal month," said Michelle Krebs, senior editor of Edmunds' AutoObserver.com.

But Honda is expected to boost volume 13.3% to 160,000 units while Nissan sales will increase 0.2% to 88,000 but Toyota sales will fall 3.3% to 217,000 units.