USA car sales plummet UPDATE GM reported a decline of 45% - so much for the cash for clunkers program helping longterm.
10/01/09 Chrysler Group LLC joined Ford Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. in reporting down sales numbers for September, as the automakers felt the payback from the end of the "cash for clunkers" program.
Chrysler sales fell 42 percent compared to the same month a year ago. Chrysler sold 62,197 vehicles in September, down from 107,349 in the same month last year, and the company's top sales executive said he thought the rest of the year would remain a challenge.
"We believe the remainder of 2009 will continue to be a challenge for the U.S. automotive market," said Peter Fong, who also is president and CEO of the company's Chrysler brand.
Ford sales fell 5.1 percent, and Nissan was off 7 percent, compared to the same month a year ago.
For Ford, demand was off 37.2 percent compared to August, when the federal rebate program was in full swing. Nissan sales dropped 47 percent compared to August.
Ford said Thursday that it sold 114,241 light vehicles last month, including its Swedish Volvo brand, down from 181,826 in August and 120,355 in September a year ago.
F-Series pickup sales gained 3.5 percent last month, and demand for the new 2010 Taurus soared more than 60 percent.
Nissan's September sales dropped to 55,393 vehicles from 59,565 a year ago, and 105,312 in August.
Other major automakers will release September sales later today.
Analysts expect a significant drop in U.S. auto sales for the month, with Edmunds.com predicting a decline of more than 22 percent from a year ago and more than 40 percent from August, when sales showed the first monthly, year-over-year gain since October 2007.