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Auto sales plummet in September
The sales declines continued for automakers in September, with Ford Motor Co. leading the pack.

Ford reported a sales drop of 34.6 percent in September, followed by Toyota Motor Corp., which saw its sales fall 32.3 percent. Honda Motor Co.'s sales dropped 24 percent and General Motors Corp. reported a 15.8 decline.

Companies blamed the weak economy, cautious consumers and growing credit problems combined to give the company its worst sales month in 2008. 

Ford sold 116,734 vehicles in September; GM sold 284,300; Toyota sold 144,260; and Honda sold 96,626 cars and trucks.

"Consumers and businesses are in a very fragile place," said Jim Farley, Ford group vice president, marketing and communications, in a statement released with Ford's sales numbers. "An already weak economy compounded by very tight credit conditions has created an atmosphere of caution."

Sales for the Ford are down 17.6 percent for the year.

All eight of GM's brands reported sales losses, but the company touted a growth in market share despite having sales for 2008 drop 18 percent.

"September marked the second consecutive month where GM performed extremely well in tough market conditions," said Mark LaNeve, vice president, GM North America Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing. "We again gained retail share and our total market share looks to be above 27 percent for the month without an increase in incentives."

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