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GM, Ford Sales Tumble in September – SUVs tank

Well, duh.

High gas prices and a summer of heavy discounting sent sales of sport utility vehicles plummeting last month for U.S. automakers. Asian manufacturers, who had avoided the employee-pricing lures Detroit offered, saw their results less affected.

Several automakers reported strong car sales in their monthly reports released Monday, but SUVs took a hit industrywide in the U.S. market as gas prices skyrocketed following Hurricane Katrina. Sales of the GMC Envoy and Chevrolet Tahoe fell more than 50 percent compared to last September. The Cadillac Escalade, Mazda Tribute, Ford Explorer, Ford Expedition, Toyota Sequoia and Nissan Armada all saw their sales fall by 18 percent or more. Dodge Durango sales were down 11 percent.

…General Motors Corp. sales were down 24 percent overall. Its SUV and truck sales fell 30 percent while its car sales dropped 14 percent. GM’s overall sales were flat for the first nine months of the year.

…Ford Motor Co. also took a hit, with sales down nearly 20 percent in September. Ford, Lincoln and Mercury car sales rose 6 percent, but sales of trucks and SUVs fell nearly 28 percent. The company’s overall sales were also flat for the first nine months of the year.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding