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Detroit - Ford's April US sales fell 7.2 percent, dragged down by car sales that tumbled over 21 percent.

The numbers are a sign that auto sales are starting to slow in 2016 after seven straight years of growth.

Industry analysts expect April sales to be down anywhere from 2 percent to 4 percent, but still run at a healthy annual rate of around 17.1 million vehicles. Kelley Blue Book says it looks like 2017 US sales will fall short of last year's record 17.5 million for the first annual sales drop since 2009.

Read also: SA's 10 best selling cars of 2016 

Ford Motor Co. says its SUV sales were up 1.2 percent, while truck sales fell by 4.2 percent.

But the company says it's still getting strong sales prices due to high demand for F-Series Super Duty pickup trucks.

AP