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Early June Domestic Car, Truck Sales Down 4.1 Percent

June 14, 1988

DETROIT (AP) _ Sales of domestically built cars and light trucks fell 4.1 percent in early June from last year’s levels for the same period, automakers reported Tuesday.

Domestic car sales in the nine selling days from June 1 to June 10 were down 4.8 percent from the identical period a year earlier and domestic light truck sales were down 2.7 percent.

The eight companies that build passenger vehicles in the United States sold 198,647 domestic cars and 112,945 domestic light trucks in early June, down from 208,699 cars and 116,00 trucks a year earlier.

Car sales were down for all domestic makers except Toyota Motor Corp., which was just beginning U.S. production last year, and Mazda Motor Corp., which began U.S. production in September.

General Motors Corp. sold 6.2 percent fewer domestic cars and 4.5 percent fewer domestic light trucks than in early June 1987. GM’s combined car and light truck sales were down 5.7 percent from a year earlier.

GM, the industry leader, held 45.6 percent of the combined domestic market, slightly less than the 46.8 percent it held in early June 1987.

Ford Motor Co.’s domestic cars sales were down 3.2 percent and its domestic light truck sales lagged 6.9 percent behind year-earlier sales. Ford’s combined domestic car and light truck sales were down 4.7 percent from a year earlier.

The nation’s second-largest automaker’s share of the combined domestic market held nearly steady at 31.2 percent.

Chrysler Corp.’s domestic car sales fell 6.4 percent but its domestic truck sales, which include the hot-selling Jeep lineup, rose 2 percent from early June 1987. Chrysler’s combined domestic sales were down 2.5 percent from a year earlier.

The smallest of the Big Three automakers held 17.5 percent of the combined domestic market, up from 16.3 percent a year ago.

Honda Motor Co.‘s domestic car sales fell 0.3 percent, Volkswagen of America’s sales were down 8 percent and Nissan Motor Co.’s sales fell 27.6 percent from early June 1987.

But Nissan’s sales of domestically built trucks jumped 83.8 percent, reflecting the company’s decision earlier this year to build more trucks than cars at its assembly plant in New Smyrna, Tenn.

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