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April Auto Sales Flop (U.S.)

Automakers took a beating in the U.S. market in April, when even hot-selling new products couldn't save them from bruising monthly sales declines.

For one month, at least, it wasn't a matter of Japan beating Detroit. Nearly everybody felt the pain as all but one of the country's six top-selling automakers reported sales losses.

Even Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. saw its monthly sales performance slip for the first time in two years. Only DaimlerChrysler AG reported a gain -- 1.2 percent -- mainly on the strength of strong demand for models from Chrysler's Jeep brand.

Automakers blamed the sluggish month on economic factors they say are squeezing sales, including soaring fuel prices and the slowdown in the housing market.

Production cutbacks and a determined effort to trim less-profitable fleet sales also played a role, as did having two fewer selling days compared to last year.

"April was certainly a less than stellar month for the industry," General Motors Corp.'s chief sales analyst, Paul Ballew, said. "One-third of the way into the year, I don't think there are new profound conclusions to make. But legitimately, it is not a great start."






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April auto sales flop
 

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A big problem is with the Explorer- it was America's best selling SUV for most of its history- until it was recently overtaken by the TrailBlazer. The Taurus was the best selling car until the disasterous mid 90s restyle that was never fixed. Its replacement is well known as a total flop, and the Impala is basically sitting where the Five Hundred would have been if properly designed and marketed. The Focus could be an effective competitor to the Civic, but Ford have let it age for way too long.
 
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