This month's US car sales will top 1.72 million units, an 11.1% increase over July 2004 (or 15.4% when adjusted for the one less selling day this year), according to Edmunds.com.

Thanks largely to the employee purchase price promotions, the combined monthly US market share for General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler is estimated to hit 64.3% in July, their largest share of new car sales since March 2001.

Edmunds predicts that Chrysler will sell 245,000 units in July, up 29% compared with July 2004 and up 11% compared with June 2005. This would increase Chrysler's market share to 14.2% of new car sales in July, up from 12.2% in July 2004 and 13.2% in June.

Ford will sell 367,000 units in July, up 41% compared with July 2004 and up 38% compared with June 2005. This would push Ford's market share to 21.3% of new car sales in July, up from 16.8% in July 2004 and 15.9% in June.

General Motors' employee discount promotion continued to boost the automaker's sales in July, although not as dramatically as it did in June. GM will sell more than 495,000 units in July, up 10% compared with July 2004 but down 8% compared with June 2005. GM's market share is expected to be 28.7% of new car sales in July, down from 29.0% in July 2004 and 32.1% in June.

"Despite the success of the current promotions, the Big Three have largely failed to attract the attention of import drivers," said Edmunds analyst Jesse Toprak. "Overall, the proportion of consumers who traded their import brand for a domestic nameplate has increased only slightly since the promotions began."

In May 2005, before the start of its employee discount promotion, approximately 55% of all vehicles that were traded in for new GM models were not GM products. In June, this conquest rate rose to approximately 56% and in July it grew to approximately 57%.

In June 2005, before the start of Ford's employee discount program, its conquest rate was approximately 43%. This increased to approximately 45% in July.

Surprisingly, the conquest rate for Chrysler - which also introduced its employee discount program this month - fell from approximately 65% in June to approximately 63% in July.

This month, Honda is predicted to sell 128,000 units, down 1% compared with July 2004 and up 1% compared with June 2005.  Its market share is expected to slip from 7.6% in June to 7.4% in July. Nissan is predicted to sell more than 95,000 units in July, up 2% compared to July 2004 and up 2% compared with June 2005. Nissan's market share is expected to remain at its June level, which was 5.5%. Toyota is expected to sell 198,000 units, down less than 1% compared with July 2004 and up 1% compared with June 2005, resulting in a change in market share from 11.6% in June to 11.5% in July.