Cruze sales crash by 50 percent

Cruze sales crash by 50 percent

Sales of the Lordstown-built Chevrolet Cruze plummeted by a little more than 50 percent last month, as analysts and forecasting firms predict a broad drop across the U.S. auto market.

Sales have soared nationwide on pent-up demand and improved consumer confidence for most of this year, but analysts believe that momentum will wane as the major automakers report sales throughout the day today.

Cruze sales dropped from 25,787 units in September 2012 to just 12,730 units last month. Throughout the summer, the Cruze out-did itself setting records month-in and month-out.

General Motors dealers delivered 187,195 vehicles in September, down by 11 percent from a year earlier. Today’s report snaps a streak of monthly sales gains for the largest U.S. automaker.

“We held our own when it comes to retail market share this month thanks to strong new products, including the Chevrolet Impala, Buick Encore, GMC Sierra and the Cadillac ATS and XTS,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president, U.S. sales operations. “We expect a strong finish to the year and more growth in 2014 thanks to new products and a healthier economy.”

Kelley Blue Book predicts that September sales will dip by 2 percent once all the major automakers have reported sales on Tuesday.

Despite that forecast, analysts still predict that annual sales for 2013 will be just above 15 million units.

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