U.S. Car Sales Down Again in Mid-December

Times Staff Writer

Sales of domestic new cars fell again in mid-December, the seven U.S. auto makers reported Friday, with the total down 15.8% from the year before.

The seven domestic manufacturers sold a total of 165,132 new cars in the Dec. 11-20 period, down from 196,209 a year ago.

Industry analysts said that, although most of the auto manufacturers had incentive programs in effect during the Dec. 11-20 period, they were too limited to fuel a sales recovery. But analysts speculated that more extensive incentive programs announced by General Motors and Ford late last month should provide a sales boost.

The mid-December sales report was delayed by the holiday period. The manufacturers are expected to report sales for the month and all of 1985 on Monday.

For the mid-December period, GM's sales were off 17.4%, while Ford's and Chrysler's were down 19.7% and 12.4%, respectively. American Motors' sales fell 45.3% for the period. Volkswagen of America reported a sales increase of 45.3%, while American Honda's sales were up 19.8%.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, domestic cars sold at an annual rate of 6.5 million in mid-December, down from 7.7 million in the comparable 1984 period and 7.2 million in the first 10 days of the month.

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