Sales of U.S.-built vehicles increased 5.5% in mid-June

June 24, 1993|By New York Times News Service

DETROIT -- Bolstered by continued strong sales of mini-vans, pickups and sports utility vehicles, automakers reported yesterday that sales of domestically built cars and light trucks rose 5.5 percent in mid-June compared with the corresponding period last year.

Car sales were basically flat during the June 11-20 period, while sales of light trucks, which include mini-vans and sports utility vehicles, rose 13.4 percent.

The improvement was not as strong as other recent reports, and stock prices of the Big Three slipped modestly on a day when the Dow Jones industrial average was down more than 30 points. GM's stock price closed down 62.5 cents a share, to $43. Stock of Ford Motor Co. closed at $50.50 a share, down 62.5 cents, while stock of Chrysler Corp. fell 62.5 cents a share, to $45.

GM reported flat sales of domestically built vehicles. Domestic car sales were 80,800, down 4 percent, while light-truck sales were 48,460, up 7.9 percent.

Sales for Ford rose 3.4 percent, spurred by a 15 percent increase in light-truck sales. Sales of domestic cars, about half the company's business, declined 5.8 percent, to 46,993.

Chrysler, which posts sales only once a month, does not provide 10-day sales figures. Ward's Automotive Reports, a trade publication, estimated Chrysler's domestic car sales at 22,800, up 42.7 percent, and light-truck sales at 35,100, up 17.7 percent.

"The momentum of sales may have begun to plateau," said Thomas Galvin, automotive analyst of C.J. Lawrence Inc. "If you look at the trend over the last two months, it definitely remains up. One should not draw a conclusion based on a single 10-day period."

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