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New-Auto Sales Likely Up on Deep Discounts

October 02, 2000|Bloomberg News

U.S. new-car and truck sales are expected to have risen an estimated 2.7% in September because of deep discounting by auto makers, including $3,000 rebates on some DaimlerChrysler minivans. Sales at DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler arm rose 4.5%, powered by gains of 10% or more in sales of its sport-utility vehicles, trucks and minivans, analysts said. Sales fell about 1.5% at Ford Motor Co. and 2% at General Motors Corp., based on the average of four analysts' estimates. September's results, which are expected this week, come at a cost as the three biggest auto makers tried to protect market share from Asian and European rivals. DaimlerChrysler said spending on price breaks pushed its North American business into an operating loss for the third quarter. The month's estimated annual selling rate rose to 17.4 million vehicles from 17.2 million in September 1999. That's down from a rate of 18.3 million reached in the year's first quarter but well above the 15 million once considered a strong year. The auto makers are expected to report their September sales Tuesday.

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