Ford, Toyota Say Sales Slide Ending
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2009 8:02 PM CDT
Ford sales dipped 11% in June, a relatively solid showing.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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(Newser) – A rare sentiment emerged from the auto industry today: cautious optimism. New sales figures show that Americans bought 860,000 vehicles in June, the Wall Street Journal reports. That's down 28% from last year, but it's also the smallest monthly sales drop of the year. Ford and Toyota both declared that the long slide in sales may be ending.

"The auto-industry downturn appears to be nearing a turning point," said a top Ford sales analyst. Despite that optimism, there's plenty of room for improvement: Ford sales dropped 11%, Toyota's 32%, Honda's 32%, GM's 33%, and Chrysler's 42%. A closely watched industry stat, the annual selling rate, dipped to 9.7 million cars for June, but automakers expect a boost at the end of July when the "cash for clunkers" program kicks in.