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Vehicle sales at GM fell 45pc in September

GENERAL Motors (GM) yesterday said its US September auto sales fell 45 per cent, pressured by weak consumer confidence, low inventory levels and the end of the US government &ldquo;cash for clunkers&rdquo; incentives.<br /><br />GM said sales fell to 156,673 vehicles in September, from 284,300 a year earlier when company discounts supported sales.<br /><br />But the carmaker expects to post a 21 per cent market share, its highest of the year so far.<br /><br />The results stood in contrast to Ford, the only large American carmaker to avoid falling into bankruptcy this year, which posted a five per cent US sales decline in September.<br /><br />Rival Chrysler&rsquo;s US sales fell 42 per cent in September. GM said retail sales fell 46 per cent in September from a year earlier and fleet sales dropped 43 per cent.<br /><br />GM kept its prior fourth-quarter North American production forecast of 655,000 vehicles intact. This figure represents a 20 per cent cut from the fourth quarter of 2008.<br /><br />The carmaker, which emerged from bankruptcy in July, said it ended September with about 424,000 vehicles in stock, down about 41 per cent from a year earlier.