March Auto Sales Hit the Skids

GM, Chrysler Down 19%, Toyota, Ford Dip 10%
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2008 4:00 AM CDT
Toyota 4Runners sit unsold. Toyota's excess US capacity is the equivalent one entire idle plant.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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(Newser) – US auto sales plummeted last month, with GM and Chrysler's March sales diving 19%, and Ford and Toyota's down 10%, the Wall Street Journal reports. Rising gas prices, the credit crisis and fear of the future are blamed for the troubling trend. Detroit is bracing for even more bad news yet to come.

"I'd like to tell you the worst is behind us but I really can't give you that assurance," said Ford's marketing chief. An industry analyst said uncertainty about the US economy is driving down sales. "Americans are not confident about their economic future, and so they're reluctant to make big-ticket purchases," he said.