Weaker Sales Seen For Third Quarter

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AUTOMAKERS REPORTED WEAK SEPTEMBER VEHICLE SALES against a backdrop of continued economic headwinds. Still, some automakers — especially those with new models automakers — fared better than those without new wares. General Motors, Nissan and Honda reported gains; Ford, Toyota and Chrysler saw declines. Total industry sales in September ran at a seasonally adjusted rate of 16.23 million units compared with 16.60 million in September last year.

“This month was pretty much in line with what we expected,” said Jesse Toprak, executive director of http://Edmunds.com’s industry analysis. “Auto manufacturers that saw the most gains had new or freshened models — GM with the Cadillac CTS and new crossovers, Honda with the Accord, Nissan with the Altima.”

One surprise, Toprak noted, was the strength of the luxury segment, surprising because of weakness in the housing market, higher gas prices and the interest rate crunch. “Those factors didn’t effect buyers of new luxury vehicles,” Toprak noted.

GM, Ford and Chrysler captured 52.3 percent market share in September, down from 55.1 percent in September 2006 and up from 52.1 percent in August.

September Market Share for the Big 6 Automakers of GM 25.6%

Toyota Market Share 16.3%

Ford Market Share 14.4%

Chrysler Market Share 12.2%

Honda Market Share 9.2%

Nissan Market Share 7.2%

To help with sluggish sales, General Motors Corp. has added some new incentives on its large pickups and sport-utility vehicles for October following its second-straight month of sales gains, Bloomberg News reported today. The offers of $1,000 cash rebates on such vehicles as the 2007 and 2008 Chevrolet Silverado large pickup and GMC Envoy SUV, began Tuesday and run through the end of the month, GM spokesman John McDonald told Bloomberg.

GM also extended through Oct. 31 its offer of zero-percent financing for up to five years on some SUVs and large pickups, McDonald said. The $1,000 cash rebates are in addition to other incentives and can’t be used with the zero-percent loans.

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