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April Sales Declines: Chrysler, 48%; Toyota, 42%; GM, 35%; Ford, 32%

UPDATED at 3:56 P.M.

Chrysler said April sales were down 48 percent compared to April 2008 moments ago, only hours after the troubled automaker opened its bankruptcy hearing.

Car sales were down a staggering 61 percent, while sales of SUVs and trucks were down 44 percent.

Chrysler sold 43,138 vehicles in April. In its bankruptcy filing, the automaker said it has an inventory of 336,913 vehicles, a 114-day supply.

Chrysler idled its plants today for the duration of the reorganization.

Chrysler hopes to emerge from government-backed bankruptcy in 30 to 60 days, a target many bankruptcy specialists believe is unrealistic.

-- General Motors, which may follow Chrysler into bankruptcy, said sales were down 34.5 percent in April.

Forecasters expected GM to be down 36 percent for the month, so it's a bit of a victory for the embattled automaker.

It's also the smallest decline for GM since December. GM sold 11 percent more vehicles in April than March, with Chevy sales rising 22 percent and Buick sales up 21 percent.

-- Toyota U.S. sales plunged 42 percent in April compared to April 2008, the world's largest automaker reported.

April Toyota sales were down 42 percent while Toyota-made Lexus sales were down 39 percent. (Lexus sales make up such a small percentage of Toyota sales as to make no impact on the overall percentage change.)

Year-to-date Toyota sales were down 38 percent.

-- Ford sales were down 31.6 percent last month.

Ford was the first of the big automakers to report April sales; the others will trickle in one-by-one for the remainder of the day.

Forecasters expected Ford sales to be down 28.8 percent in April.

-- Honda was down 25.3 percent in April. The Honda division was down 24.5 percent and the Acura division of Honda was down 32.3 percent.

-- Nissan was down 38 percent in April.

-- Subaru broke its several-month winning streak, reporting a 6.7 percent decrease in April U.S. sales.

-- Volkswagen reported April sales were down 16.1 percent compared to April 2008. VW called April its best sales month since August 2008.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  May 1, 2009; 3:56 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Ford, GM, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, auto sales  
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Posted by: ParrisBoyd | May 1, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

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