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EDITIONS
Friday, 1 November, 2002, 20:09 GMT
US car sales nosedive
Ford Expedition SUV
Ford: Reflection of strong summer
The three US car giants Ford, General Motors and Chrysler have all reported sharp falls in sales.

Ford's sales fell almost 35% during October when compared with a year earlier, General Motors reported a 32% fall and Chrysler's sales fell 31%.

Chrysler PT Cruiser
Chrysler: Not unexpected
Last year, the automotive giants introduced zero interest finance for car buyers to prevent a sales slump in the wake of the 11 September attacks.

Such finance deals kept fuelling sales well into the summer when sales were much higher than they had been during the summer of 2001.

"What we see in October is a reflection of what we saw in July and August," said Ford sales analyst George Pipas, insisting that weak sales during the autumn were expected given that many drivers have just bought new cars.

Good year

Consequently, the car makers were not all that disappointed.

"Last month's year-over-year sales comparison was not unexpected," said Chrysler sales executive Gary Dilts.

"Looking at the broader picture, we are pleased with our overall performance for the first 10 months of the year," said GM sales executive Bill Lovejoy.

Foreign car makers

Non-US owned car makers also suffered falling sales during October.

The Japanese car maker Toyota reported a 21% fall in sales in the US while its subsidiary Lexus saw sales fall 2%.

Competitor Nissan suffered a 12.6% fall in sales.

Germany's Porsche said sales fell 5.7%.

Mercedes-Benz USA broke with the trend, reporting its best October on record with sales of 18,871 new vehicles, beating the record of 18,443 set in October 2001.


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09 Sep 02 | Business
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