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U.S. Auto Sales Rise 16% in October, But Loans Hurt Profit

November 1, 2001

U.S. automakers' October shaped up as the ultimate Halloween trick-or-treat: a sales boom that may return later to haunt auto dealers and investors, according to a Bloomberg News story by Alison Fitzgerald.

U.S. vehicle sales rose an estimated 16 percent from a year earlier, spurred by zero-percent loans. General Motors Corp., which introduced the incentives to lift demand after the Sept. 11

terrorist attacks, will rise 23 percent, based on the average estimate of five analysts.

The month's annual sales rate may be 19.7 million vehicles, the second best sales month ever. The only higher auto sales month in history occurred when tax reforms hit in September 1986.

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