Domestic auto sales fell 7.4 percent in mid-June, due mainly to an unexpectedly weak performance by industry leader General Motors Corp., according to company reports yesterday.

Ford Motor Co. posted a 1.6 percent gain in sales and took some market share from GM, which posted a 12.6 percent decline compared with a year ago. Chrysler Corp. sales were down 1.6 percent.

The seven major U.S. auto makers sold 240,639 cars in the June 11-20 period, down 7.4 percent from a very strong showing of 259,844 a year earlier.

GM's market share was 55.7 percent, compared with 59 percent a year earlier. Ford's share was 26.7 percent, compared with 24.4 percent. Chrysler's sales also were up 13.3 percent, compared with 12.5 percent a year earlier. American Motors Corp. continued to suffer sluggish sales -- off 42.7 percent in the period -- despite price cuts, 8.5 percent financing, five-year warranties and a rebate program worth more than $500 on its Renault Alliance and Renault Encore cars.

Volkswagen of America Inc. sales of U.S.-made cars remained slow, down 11.4 percent. Sales of U.S.-made cars by American Honda Motor Co. Inc. were up 28.9 percent.