Sales of U.S.-Built Autos Decline 7.4% in Mid-June

Times Staff Writer

Hindered by a 12.6% decline by industry leader General Motors, domestic new-car sales slipped 7.4% in mid-June compared to a year ago, the U.S. auto makers reported Tuesday.

Industry analysts attributed the decline in part to the increased availability of cars imported from Japan. “We are beginning to see the effect” of reduced government quotas, said John Hammond, an auto analyst with Data Resources, an economic forecasting firm.

He added, however, that domestic cars had been selling at a very strong pace over the past five months and that some slowing had been expected.

Hammond noted that the recent sales decline may have been amplified by the discontinuation of consumer incentive programs by some of the manufacturers.


The seven domestic firms said they sold 240,639 new cars in the June 11-20 period, down from the 259,844 sold in the same period last year.

The 10-day sales figures represented a domestic annual rate of 7.9 million cars, down significantly from early June’s strong 8.6-million annual rate. The rate is a reflection of the number of cars that would be sold if the early June pace continued for a full year.

Auto Sales

June 11-20 June 11-20 % 10-Day 1985 1984 change GM 134,014 153,412 -12.6 Ford 64,333 63,306 +1.6 Chrysler 31,915 32,442 -1.6 AMC * 2,650 4,625 -42.7 VW U.S. 2,160 2,439 -11.4 Honda U.S. 4,667 3,620 +29.9 Nissan U.S. * 900 -- -- TOTAL 240,639 259,844 -7.4


* Estimate