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Chrysler Sales Decline 8%; Honda, Nissan Post Gains

November 04, 1997|From Associated Press

Chrysler Corp. said Monday that its vehicle sales fell 8% in October from record results for the same month a year ago, in part because of slower demand for some mid-size sedans.

Honda Motor Co., meanwhile, said sales were up 11% on the strength of the new Accord. Nissan Motor Co. said October sales rose 4%.

Chrysler said car sales dropped 13% from last October and that sales of pickups, minivans and sport-utility vehicles were down 6%. But the 188,263 vehicles sold still made for Chrysler's second-best October, behind last year's record of 205,393.

The No. 3 auto maker said it could have reached the record if it wasn't switching to new Dodge Intrepid and Chrysler Concorde mid-size sedans, which hit showrooms this month.

"The overall market may still be a bit soft, but we're pleased at what we're seeing and confident about the coming months," said James P. Holden, vice president of sales and marketing.

Sales of the older Concorde model were down 57% in October; Intrepid sales were down 55%. If those cars' sales had matched last year's, Chrysler's overall car sales would have been on par with last year's.

Brian L. Eisenbarth, an analyst with Collins & Co., said Chrysler's sales were lower than he expected, largely because of increased competition in the light-duty truck market.

"They've posted some good numbers the last year or so," he said, "but Ford has cut into it."

Chrysler shares rose $1.13 to close at $36.38 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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