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'84 auto sales in US hit best pace in five years

Car sales - both American and foreign - cruised along briskly for the 1984 model year. Combined sales topped 10 million cars, the best showing in five years and an increase of 17.2 percent over the 1983 model year.

While dealers imported record numbers of foreign cars (2.4 million), import market share in this country actually dropped from 26.5 percent in model year 1983 to 23.2 percent - the smallest share in five years. The drop in market share is due to import restrictions and the growth in sales by the United States companies.

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The six American companies - Ford Motor, General Motors, Chrysler, American Motors, Volkswagen of America, and American Honda - reported sales of 7.9 million autos in the 12 months ended Sept. 30. ''The fundamentals are in place for a strong 1985 model year,'' says Chrysler executive vice-president Bennett E. Bidwell. ''We have modest industry pricing, a high level of consumer confidence, and stable interest rates.

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