Automobile Sales Fall 6.1%

From Associated Press

Sales of new North American-made cars fell 6.1% in mid-November from the same period last year, auto makers reported Monday in the latest indication of their industry's weakness.

The industry's lengthening sales slump--which has been paced by the Big Three of General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Corp.--could mean that auto makers will lengthen their year-end factory shutdowns in an attempt to trim production and deflate an inventory backlog, analysts said.

The eight major companies making cars and light trucks in North America said they sold an average of 31,032 vehicles daily during the Nov. 11-20 period, compared to a daily rate of 32,466 during the year-earlier period.

Light truck sales fell 1.8% during the period, putting the decline for both cars and light trucks at 4.4%.

For the Big Three, overall vehicle sales were down 8.6% from last year during the 10-day period.

Through Nov. 20 of this year, car and truck sales from all U.S.-based manufacturers were 2.6% behind last year's pace. Car sales were down 3.6% and truck sales were off 0.8% during the year-to-date period.

The industry's sales slide began in early October.

AUTO SALES

Nov. 11-20 % 1989 change GM 66,338 -13.0 Ford 41,963 -11.6 Chrysler 20,187 -12.0 Honda U.S. 10,714 +29.7 Mazda U.S. 978 +44.9 Mitsubishi U.S. 990 * Nissan U.S. 2,329 +19.5 Toyota U.S. 5,882 +286.0 TOTAL 149,381 -6.1

There were 8 selling days in the selling period this year and last year.

*No comparison possible.

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