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DATE News (chronologically)
12/02/08
automotive
Toyota, Chrysler and Ford sales plummet  Toyota Motor Corp.'s November sales fell 33.9 percent, while rival Ford Motor Co.'s sales dropped 30.6 percent in November compared to the same month a year ago, the companies announced today.

Toyota's sales decline reflects how tough the market has become for every automaker. Only two vehicles showed positive growth for Japanese-based company, the Toyota Sequoia and the Lexus LX, both big SUVs. Toyota's total truck sales dropped 36.1 percent, while its car sales fell 32.3 percent.

Even Toyota's hot selling hybrids stumbled with Prius sales dropping 48.3 percent compared to the same month last year. Prius sales are down 9.9 percent for the year. However, Toyota said it has sold nearly 230,000 hybrids this year and more than 12,000 hybrids last month.

Ford executives said the Dearborn automaker's sales drop was slightly better than the entire market's demise in November, which the company anticipates will be down nearly 35 percent.

"The economy continues to weaken and auto sales reflect this reality," said Jim Farley, Ford group vice president of marketing and communications, in a news release.

Chrysler LLC today announced its U.S. sales were down 47% last month compared to November 2007.

The Auburn Hills automaker sold 85,260 cars and trucks in November in the U.S., the company said.

Chrysler’s sales this year through November are down 28%.

The company attributes the decline to the economic turmoil, tightened credit markets, reduced consumer confidence and planned reduction in fleet sales.

“2008 will go down as unlike any other year in the industry, and thus, comparisons to 2007 sales have become irrelevant,” Jim Press, Chrysler vice chairman and president, said in a statement. “In this environment, we need to evaluate sales based on month-to-month trends, with the last two months of the year being especially important to determine if we have established a base for sales in 2009.

Our goal is to fight to maintain our share of the retail market month-to-month by keeping a strong advertising and incentive presence in the marketplace and finding financing solutions for our customers, roughly 75% of whom finance their vehicles with dealer assistance."

The Chrysler 300 saw its sales drop 70%. The Dodge Grand Caravan dropped 55% and the Chrysler Town & Country dropped 41%. The Dodge Ram saw its sales decline 37% last month.

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