Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

GM Auto Sales Continue to Droop/ford Higher

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

GM Auto Sales Continue to Droop/ford Higher

Article excerpt

DETROIT (AP) - Industry-leader General Motors Corp.'s car sales continued to droop in mid-March, the main contributor to a 3.9 percent drop in the domestic auto industry's sales compared with the same period a year ago.

Sales by Ford Motor Co., the No. 2 automaker, were 15.2 percent ahead of the year-ago period, while No. 3 Chrysler Corp.'s sales were off by 3.7 percent and GM's sales dragged at 14.8 percent below a year ago, the companies reported Tuesday.

``It indicates GM continues to lose market position,'' said David Healy, analyst with Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. in New York. "The problem is probably the lack of new distinctive models.

``GM's share dropped in November as soon as incentives were dropped and they've been running at a sharply lower share ever since,'' despite a currently wide offering of buyer incentives, Healy said.

GM held 48.4 percent of the domestic car market in mid-March, compared with 54.6 percent a year ago, and 44.6 percent of the total domestic market, which includes light trucks, compared with 51 percent a year ago.

Ford's share of the car market jumped to 31 percent from 25.9 percent a year ago, while its share of the total market rose to 35 percent from 28.9 percent a year ago.

Chrysler's car share remained unchanged at 14.2 percent, while its share of the total market dropped slightly to 14.2 percent from 14.3 percent a year ago.

The eight major companies building cars in the United States sold 217,939 domestic-made cars and 115,684 light trucks in the nine selling days from March 11-20, compared with 226,712 cars and 108,679 light trucks a year ago.

Car sales moved at a soft 6.2 million seasonally adjusted annual rate.

``We've gradually been staggering back from the weak sales in January. …

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