U.S. Sales for Ford, Chrysler, GM Down in March

Ford was down 40%, Chrysler down 39% and GM down 45%

Ford Motor Co. reported a sales slump of 40.9%. in March. The company delivered 131,465 new vehicles but said sales increased 30% compared with February 2009.

March sales for its domestic nameplates Ford, Lincoln and Mercury were down 41.3% while sales for its Volvo brand fell 31.4% compared to levels of March 2008.

The company produced 349,000 vehicles in the first quarter, a reduction of 26,000 vehicles from its previous forecast.

Chrysler's sales fell 39% in March from a year ago but for the first time since last September sold more than 100,000 units.

The company said its U.S. retail market share increased to an estimated 10% versus 9.9% in March 2008.

General Motors' sales tumbled 45% from a year earlier, selling 156,380 new vehicles in March.

That was far below the figures from March 2008 but a 23% increase from February's level of 127,296.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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