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September 2013 car sales: Government shutdown, meet sales shutdown

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Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor/File

(Read caption) Adriano Costa tapes a new car sticker with vital stats to a Pontiac Solstice. Nearly all major automakers saw a fall in sales this September, a step backwards after a summer of strong gains.

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Car sales hit the skids in September, as the major automakers saw double-digit gains from summer turn to single digits--and head in the wrong direction, in some cases.

Numbers are trending downward for many mass-market nameplates as the Federal government shutdown enters its second day, the culmination of a political battle over funding for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

 

Among the Big Six automakers, Ford and Chrysler eked out single-digit gains--while General Motors watched sales drop by 11 percent, and Nissan fell 5.5 percent. Toyota was up 4 percent--but without accounting for fewer selling days last month, its sales actually fell 4.3 percent. 

Some highlights of September's sales report: Volkswagen was off more than 12 percent, while Audi sales rose more than 6 percent.

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