Chrysler sales rise GM sales drop

Results in line with analysts' expectations


AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Two U.S. automakers reported strikingly different sales results for October, as Chrysler Corp.'s car and truck sales rose 19 percent while General Motors Corp.'s fell 7.5 percent.

Both companies sold as many trucks, minivans and sports utility vehicles as they could build. But GM's car production and sales are down because it's changing over to a lot of new models. Chrysler is using rebates to keep car sales strong.

The results were in line with analysts' expectations, keeping the industry on track for a 7 percent rise in sales over October last year.

Toyota Motor Corp.'s U.S. sales rose 16 percent in October, and Honda Motor Co. said its sales climbed 8.8 percent. Ford Motor Co. will report sales Tuesday, and is expected to post a 5 percent increase over October 1995.

Chrysler's $3,000 rebates on the 1996 LHS and aggressive incentives on 1997 models helped boost the company's car sales 11 percent to 61,213 vehicles.

General Motors, which has scaled back incentives, said its car sales slid 24 percent to 213,798. GM's troubles are compounded by factory shut-downs to change over to new models.

Sales of light trucks -- pickup trucks, minivans and sports utility vehicles -- continue to propel the market.

Sales of Chrysler's Dodge Ram jumped 40 percent from October 1995, while Chrysler's overall light truck sales jumped 22 percent to 144,180, propelled by minivans, and the Dodge Dakota and Ram pickups.

GM's truck sales rose 23 percent to 186,523, but the comparison is exaggerated because a strike last year by its transport company, Ryder System Inc., decimated sales.

GM's stock rose 37.5 cents to $54. Chrysler fell 12.5 cents to $33.50.

Pub Date: 11/02/96

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