GM Sales Down 16%

Supplier strike accounted for 130,000 units of lost production.

General Motors Corp. said May 1 its U.S. sales slid 16% in April from a year ago on weak demand for trucks amid soaring gasoline prices and a supplier strike that slashed fleet deliveries.

Adjusted for 26 selling days, two more than in April 2007, total domestic sales skidded 22.7% lower, GM said. GM, the world's leading automaker, said it had sold 260,922 vehicles in the U.S. in April.

Approximately 130,000 units of production were lost in April due to a strike by key supplier American Axle. Since the dispute began in late February, approximately 230,000 units of production have been lost, the struggling automaker said.

Sales of fuel-hungry trucks, including sport utility vehicles such as the massive Hummer, plunged 26.5% to 140,098 vehicles, while car sales slipped a modest 0.2% to 120,824. "Consumer preference is shifting and we're shifting with it as evidenced by our strong car and crossover sales," said Mark LaNeve, vice president of GM North America.

GM North America produced 242,000 vehicles in April, down 28% from a year ago.

On April 30, GM reported a first-quarter loss of $3.3 billion, citing weakness in the domestic auto industry amid a stalling economy and special charges.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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