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Industry Down 11.3 Percent But Ford up 14.1 Percent

June 24, 1987

DETROIT (AP) _ Car sales by domestic automakers fell 11.3 percent in mid-June from a year ago, but Ford Motor Co. and Japanese companies that build cars in the United States defied the trend.

Domestic automakers sold 348,569 cars and light trucks in the nine selling days from June 11-20, down 5.3 percent from 368,256 a year ago. While car sales fell, truck sales were up 7.6 percent from a year ago, the automakers reported Wednesday.

Domestic makers sold 223,376 U.S.-made cars and 125,193 U.S.-made trucks, compared with 251,920 cars and 116,336 trucks a year ago.

Nevertheless, car sales moved at a nearly 7.4 million seasonally adjusted annual rate in the middle part of June, much higher than during the same period a month earlier, when the rate was about 6.8 million.

″It appears sales figures are moving back up to an expected level, a more normal pattern,″ said Chris Cedergren, automotive analyst with J.D. Power & Associates in Westlake Village, Calif.

Analysts and many industry executives have predicted 1987 car sales will be about 1 million lower than 1986′s 8.2 million. The seasonally adjusted rate gives an indication of how many cars will be sold by year’s end.

Ford’s car sales were up 14.1 percent from last year, to 68,232 from 59,785. Ford’s truck sales grew even more, improving 19.5 percent to 47,863 from 40,064 a year ago and nearly matching General Motors Corp.

GM, the nation’s largest automaker, lost nearly 10 percentage points in market share from last year as its car sales fell 25.3 percent. GM’s truck sales fell 10.1 percent from a year ago.

GM sold 111,407 cars, for 49.9 percent of the domestic market, compared with 149,086, or 59.2 percent of the market, a year ago. Ford, on the other hand, increased market share to 30.5 percent from 23.7 percent a year ago.

The industry leader sold 49,248 light trucks, compared with 54,803 a year ago. GM held 39.3 percent of the light truck market and Ford, the No. 2 automaker, held 38.2 percent.

While Chrysler Corp.’s car sales fell 18.8 percent, to 28,001 from 34,467 a year ago, the No. 3 maker’s light truck sales jumped 49.9 percent to 21,155 from 14,112 a year ago.

Joining Ford in grabbing sales from GM was Honda Motor Co., which sold 8,246 U.S.-made cars; Nissan Motor Corp., which sold 4,332; and Toyota Motor Corp., which sold 1,198.

Nissan’s U.S.-made truck sales, however, plunged 20 percent to 2,327 from 2,907 a year ago. Improvement in American Motors Corp.’s Jeep Corp. sales also slowed to 3.4 percent. AMC sold 4,600 of the vehicles, compared with 4,450 a year ago.

AMC’s car sales fell 63.3 percent to 595 from 1,620 a year ago as production of the Renault Alliance ended in Kenosha, Wis. AMC has no other U.S.-made car, but sells Renault vehicles imported from France.

Volkswagen of America Inc. sold 1,365 U.S.-made cars, 22 percent fewer than 1,749 a year ago.

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