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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 September, 2004, 20:25 GMT 21:25 UK
Fall in sales at US car giants
GM cars lined up a showroom lot
GM has seen some of its brands' sales fall
US carmakers General Motors and Ford posted weaker US sales for August and announced cuts to planned fourth-quarter production.

GM and Ford saw their third straight month of lower sales, despite continued customer sweeteners.

GM said it was disappointed with its 7 % drop in sales, and Ford reported a 5.9% drop in results for US brands.

But Chrysler's side of DaimlerChrysler reported a fifth-straight month of stronger results with a 1% rise.

It saw sales of its 300 sedan and Magnum sports wagon continue to do well.

However, across the US automotive market Hurricane Charley's path through Florida, high energy prices, and falling consumer confidence, hurt sales results.

'Life difficult'

Sales of GM's Saab brand dropped by nearly a quarter, and results for Ford's Jaguar brand fell 33.4%.

Last week Jaguar announced it would cut production in the UK due to slack demand.

"Disappointing job gains over the last few months, combined with higher energy prices, is making life difficult for consumers just as the benefits from last year's tax cuts fade," said Ford economist Jarlath Costello.

Industry sales are expected to come in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16.7 million vehicles, down roughly 5% from a year ago, said Paul Ballew, GM's head of global market and industry analysis.

Sales crept back from a rate of 17.2 million in July, and from 17.9 million in August last year.

Ford revealed plans to build 830,000 vehicles in the fourth-quarter, down nearly 8% compared to 900,000 produced in the same period in 2003.

And for the fourth-quarter, GM set its production forecast at 1.2 million vehicles, down nearly 7% from a year ago.




SEE ALSO:
US carmakers suffer June slowdown
02 Jul 04  |  Business
Discounts drive US car sales rise
03 Jun 04  |  Business
GM predicts stronger car market
20 Jan 04  |  Business
Ford profits double as sales soar
21 Apr 04  |  Business
DaimlerChrysler eyes lift from US
19 Feb 04  |  Business


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