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By JEFFREY BRUNER (Gannett)

Question: Did the federal government purchase 79 percent of the vehicles sold by General Motors in June?

Answer: The federal government's rescue of GM and Chrysler has been a campaign issue and this viral email has circulated with the claim that GM's success is due to the government propping it up.

Fleet sales by GM in June were actually 32 percent of the company's total sales that month, and that includes sales to rental car companies in addition to federal, state and local governments.

Ford, which didn't need any federal help, had similar numbers -- 35 percent.

GM spokesman James Cain told FactCheck.org that government sales (federal, state and local) accounted for 3 percent of the company's total U.S. sales for the first seven months of this year.


Finally, Cain said the majority government sales are to local and state governments. So that leaves the federal government accounting for less than 1.5 percent of GM's sales.

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(Jeffrey Bruner is the wire chief for the Gannett National Wire Desk in Des Moines.)

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