USA Today

Clunker hangover knocks sales down at Chrysler, Ford, GM
USA Today

The auto industry staggered through September, suffering from a massive cash-for-clunkers hangover that left sales down 41% compared with clunker-fueled August.

Total light-vehicle sales fell to 745,997 in September after topping 1 million in August, automakers reported Thursday. September’s sales were down 23% compared with September 2008, when some automakers then mistakenly declared sales had fallen as low as they would go and would rebound.

Chrysler Group LLC says U.S. sales slid 42 per cent for the month to 62,197 vehicles. That compares with 107,349 in the same month last year.

General Motors Corp. says sales fell 45 per cent from year-earlier levels. GM sold 156,673 cars and light trucks in September, a figure 36 per cent below the level of the previous month.

The Ford Motor Company, which has been gaining market share both from new models and by surviving without a government rescue or bankruptcy, said its sales declined just 5 percent last month.