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December Auto Sales Fall Again, Honda and Toyota Lead Decline

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted January 5, 2009


car crash


Bailout or no bailout, the life of an auto exec. is not getting any easier for these days.

When it comes to their cars, people have simply decided to keep driving what they already have—-go figure.

Either way, here’s a rundown on the latest auto sales figures. It seems that Toyota and Honda are not doing much better.

From the AP by Tom Krisher entitled: Toyota, Honda lead declines in Dec. auto sales

“Ford Motor Co.’s U.S. sales plummeted 32 percent in December and Toyota Motor Corp.’s fell 37 percent as car and truck buyers continued to steer clear of showrooms due to the dismal economy.

Ford’s sales for 2008 fell 21 percent from a year earlier, keeping the Dearborn automaker in third place in the U.S. auto sales race, falling behind Japan’s Toyota for the second straight year.

Toyota‘s 2008 sales fell 16 percent to 2.22 million, compared with Ford’s 1.98 million.

Other automakers are to report U.S. sales for December and the full year later Monday, and analysts expect an industrywide drop of up to 40 percent as consumers remain uncertain about the economy and their jobs.

Ford said Monday it sold 138,458 light vehicles last month, down from 204,787 in December 2007. But even though its sales were dismal, Ford said it expects to fare better than the industry overall.

The auto Web site predicted sales for the full year will total just over 13 million, down 18 percent from 2007 and the lowest level since 1992.

But Aaron Bragman, automotive marketing research analyst for IHS Global Insight in Troy, said the sales drops are not unique to the U.S.-based automakers.

“This is a domestic market problem because we see the same kinds of declines at Toyota and Honda as we see at GM and Ford,” he said. “It’s not a matter of getting financing. It’s a matter of getting shoppers.”