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Ford, Chrysler Post Lower Car Sales

General Motors delays the release of its sales figures until Tuesday because of a major systems failure.

Ford Motor

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and the Chrysler unit of



both sold fewer cars in the U.S. during April than a year ago.

Citing a "major systems failure,"

General Motors

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delayed the release of its sales figures until Tuesday.

Ford's U.S. car sales dropped 7.9% from the year-ago period to 97,530 vehicles and are now down 10.3% for the year to date. Truck sales also dropped 2.1% from the year-ago period to 188,145 units but are up 2.6% so far this year. Overall sales were 285,675, down 2.1% for the year to date.

U.S. car sales at Chrysler dropped 5% to 45,712 and are lagging sales for the first four months of last year by 13 %, the company said. Chrysler's domestic truck sales rose 3% last month to 143,299 vehicles compared to a year ago and are up 7% for the year to date.

Overall sales rose 1% to 189,011 vehicles from 187,086. Year-to-date sales rose 2% to 706,515 from 688,863 in 2003.

In its first full month of sales, the Chrysler 300 sedan sold 9,543 vehicles, and sales of the PT Cruiser rose 4% to 10,422 over the year-ago period.

"Our new product blitz is will timed with the economy that is showing continued improvement," Chrysler senior vice president Gary Dilts said in a prepared statement.

At Ford, the F-Series truck continued to drive sales figures, rising 2% to 70,166 from the year-ago period. The introduction of the new F-150 model last September has boosted year-to-date sales 10.6% to 279,187, up from 252,543 in the first four months of 2003.