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General Motors Co. posted a quarterly sales gain, and Ford Motor Co. sales fell less than expected. But both are having trouble shrugging off concerns that the U.S. auto market is taking a turn for the worse.
Shares of the two companies fell Wednesday along with those of Italian-American manufacturer Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV. Their quarterly U.S. results looked less dire than the big percentage drops that other carmakers reported Oct. 1 for September, in part due to fewer selling days in the month than a year ago.
GM’s third-quarter deliveries rose 6.3%, a smaller increase than analysts expected, while Fiat Chrysler’s 0.1% slip and Ford’s 5.1% decline beat projections. Those figures weren’t enough to dispel the narrative set by rivals a day earlier, when Nissan Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. trotted out ugly numbers. Those were timed close to when a measure of manufacturing sector activity flashed the worst reading since the end of the last recession.
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