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Domestic Car Sales in Early May Dip 28.5%

May 14, 1987|LESLIE ERINGAARD | Times Staff Writer

DETROIT — Domestic car sales fell 28.5% in early May, as the U.S.-based manufacturers posted declines in what amounted to their worst showing for the May 1-10 period in six years.

While total sales rose for those U.S.-built cars produced by foreign manufacturers, sales for the four U.S.-based car companies--General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and American Motors--fell 31.2% compared to the same period in 1986.

GM sales fell 39.3%, Chrysler was down 31.3% and Ford reported a drop of 11.6%. Troubled American Motors said it sold only 720 cars during the period, a 43% decrease from a year ago.

"Sales are really disappointing," said John Hammond, an analyst with J. D. Powers and Associates, an automotive consulting firm. "The environment is conducive to car buying, but it's difficult to incite the buyer to make purchases."

Auto makers report the sales of U.S.-made cars every 10 days and the sale of foreign-made cars at the end of the month. In early May there were eight selling days, compared to nine selling days in early May, 1986.

AUTO SALES Percentage changes in auto sales for the first 10 days of May are based on daily rates rather than total sales volume. There were eight selling days in the current period and nine in the year-ago period.

May 1-10 May 1-10 % 10-Day 1987 1986 change GM 74,915 138,870 -39.3 Ford 46,195 58,753 -11.6 Chrysler 20,563 33,672 -31.3 Honda U.S. 5,137 3,234 +78.8 AMC* 720 1,435 -43.4 VW U.S.* 1,232 1,444 -3.8 Nissan U.S. 1,803 392 +411 Toyota U.S. 566 -- -- TOTAL 151,131 237,800 -28.5

*Estimate

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