U.S. Carmaker Sales Fall As Buyers Seek Fuel Efficiency

Sales at Chrysler, GM and Ford are falling as buyers defect to Toyota and other Asian automakers.

Published: 06-Jan-2006

Southfield, MICHIGAN -- General Motors, Ford Motor and DaimlerChrysler on Wednesday reported lower U.S. auto sales in December, the third straight month, as Asian automakers, led by Toyota Motor, likely gained market share.

GM, the world's largest automaker, said its U.S. sales fell 10 percent to 392,041 cars and trucks. Ford, the second-biggest U.S. automaker, said its sales dropped 9 percent to 267,881, and DaimlerChrysler, No. 3 in the United States, said Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz vehicle sales fell 2 percent to 220,641. Nissan Motor reported a 1.1 percent decline.

Cars and light trucks in the United States sold at an annual rate of 16.9 million units last month, down from 17.9 million a year earlier, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts and economists. Sales in 2005 probably matched the 16.9 million of a year earlier.

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