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Updated from 3:03 p.m. EDT

Shares of

General Motors

(GM) - Get General Motors Company (GM) Report

swung into negative territory Tuesday after the world's largest automaker posted a 3.1% drop in U.S. sales for September.



also posted a decline, but


(F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report

sales picked up for the month.

GM said it sold 338,380 vehicles in the U.S. in September, down from the 349,202 vehicles it sold in the same month last year.

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Car sales slid 6.4% to 137,450 cars from 146,824 a year earlier. Truck sales also trailed year-ago results, falling 0.7% to 200,930 units from 202,378 sold in September of last year.

Shares of GM recently were down 15 cents, or 0.5%, to $33.35, giving back gains from earlier in the session.

Ford, the No. 2 U.S. automaker, said its U.S. auto sales rose 4.7% in September from a year earlier, when there was a sharp dropoff in sales due to the devastation wrought by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The gain was buoyed by an increase in car sales, which rose 26.2% for the month. Truck sales, which have historically been Ford's strong suit, dropped 5.5%.

Ford sold 238,848 vehicles in September, compared with last year's 228,157. The sales rise came after six straight months of declines.

The company said that full-size pickup trucks and SUVs showed signs of stabilizing as the Ford F-Series, Explorer and Expedition all posted higher sales. But other trucks, such as the Freestyle, Escape and Freestar, had double-digit sales drops in September.

Meanwhile, DaimlerChrysler said its U.S. auto sales in September fell 2.3% to 188,761 vehicles from 193,108 in the same month last year.

The company's Chrysler unit -- consisting of the Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler brands -- reported a 4% drop to 168,888 vehicles for the month. The Mercedes-Benz division recorded a 13% rise to 19,873 units.


Toyota Motor

(TM) - Get Toyota Motor Corp. Sponsored ADR Report

continued to gain on its U.S. rivals. The Japanese powerhouse reported a 25% rise in U.S. September sales to 222,950 vehicles from 178,417 a year earlier.

Shares of Ford were recently up 2 cents, or 0.4%, to $8.16; while shares of DaimlerChrysler rose 13 cents, or 0.3%, to $50.12.