June 3, 1997 in Nation/World

Chrysler Sales Slump For Fourth Month

Compiled From Wire Services

Chrysler Corp. said Monday its domestic sales fell 17 percent in May, its fourth consecutive month of lower car and truck sales compared with its strong performance a year ago.

May’s decline at the No. 3 U.S. automaker was another sign of a slowdown in spending by the nation’s consumers.

“The spring market is significantly softer than a year ago, when we were setting all-time sales records in most categories,” said James P. Holden, Chrysler vice president of sales and marketing. Chrysler’s sales were down across the board: Cars were off 18 percent and light trucks declined 16 percent.

The company blamed only part of the decline in truck sales on a monthlong strike at its Detroit engine plant, which halted production of some of its most profitable models.

Analysts expect the industry to report lower sales overall, following April’s 4 percent decline.

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