Chrysler's U.S. Sales Fall 48% in April

The company attributed the sharp decline to a planned reduction in low-margin sales to fleet customers.

A day after seeking bankruptcy protection, Chrysler reported a 48% drop in April U.S. sales. The company attributed the sharp decline to a planned reduction in low-margin sales to fleet customers and the broad economic downturn.

"Chrysler retail sales and share were well above expectations, which shows the real strength of our dealers and products in the marketplace in spite of a month filled with troubling headlines," said Jim Press, Chrysler vice chairman and president. "This gives us reason for optimism as we begin working on our new alliance and restructuring plans."

Chrysler, which has shuttered plants as it restructures under court protection, said it had a 114 day supply of inventory of 336,913 units. It hopes to emerge from bankruptcy protection within 30 to 60 days.

"The industry appears to have stabilized, as it's been fairly level for the past four months," Press said. "We know where the bottom is and, as the economy struggles to recover, vehicle sales should follow."

Total sales were down 46% for the year to date at 323,890 and came in down a monthly 48% at 43,138 vehicles in April.

Car sales fell 61% in April while truck, van and sport utility vehicle sales were down 44%.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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