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U.S. auto sales fall hard in September

New U.S. car sales fell in September as predicted after the end of the government's Cash for Clunkers program, which helped August sales surge by offering up to $4,500 on trade-ins.

• General Motors' sales for the month fell 45 percent compared with a year earlier, with 156,673 cars and light trucks delivered.

• Ford's sales dipped 5.1 percent, with 114,655 units sold.

• Nissan sold 55,393 vehicles, a 7 percent slide from the previous year.

• Honda sold 77,229 cars and trucks, a 20 percent decline.

• Toyota's sales fell 12.6 percent, with 126,015 vehicles sold.

• Chrysler sold 62,197 vehicles, a 42.1 percent decline.

Final tallies are still pending, but overall U.S. vehicle sales in September were likely down about 25 percent from a year earlier.

Auto executives were lukewarm in their expectations for the fourth quarter. While they expect sales to come in above levels in the first two quarters, high unemployment and consumer reticence are likely to depress sales.

U.S. auto sales fall hard in September 10/01/09 [Last modified: Thursday, October 1, 2009 10:22pm]
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