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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Chrysler Down 53 Pct. in Dec.; Ford, GM Down More Than 30 Pct.

UPDATED with Toyota, GM, Chrysler and VW sales numbers:

Chrysler said its December sales were down a staggering 53 percent compared to December of 2007.

Even though Chrysler is a private company, meaning its earnings are not made public, it is believed to be in the worst shape of Detroit's Big Three automakers.

Ford said its December sales were down 32.4 percent compared to December 2007, while GM said December sales were off 31 percent.

Toyota reported December sales were down 37 percent.

For all of 2008, Ford was down 21 percent compared to 2007 while GM was down 23 percent. Toyota was down 16 percent.

Subaru was the first major automaker to report today and it reported an actual uptick of .3 percent for 2008, even though December sales were down 7.7 percent.

Subaru is a small player in the U.S. -- it sold only 187,699 vehicles here last year -- but buyers liked the company's Forester.

Volkswagen sales were down 14.4 percent in December and 3.2 percent for 2008.

To keep buyers, Hyundai is running an extraordinary promotion: If you buy a new Hyundai this year and lose your job, you can return the car for free.

Keep checking back as more automaker sales number trickle out during the day.

-- Frank Ahrens
The Ticker is Twittering!

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 5, 2009; 3:13 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Ford, GM, Subaru  
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I don't know what areas of the country are experiencing the lion's share of the downturn, but at the Ford dealership where I work in Kentucky new Ford sales were up by 5 percent compared to last December.

Posted by: mhhaggard | January 5, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

And why did we bail these auto companies out? Especially Chrysler - $4B, down the tubes.

Posted by: a_DC_denizen | January 5, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Of course no one's buying them! Who gets a decent wage anymore?

Posted by: fluxgirl | January 5, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Fewer jobs, fewer credit loans. No loan no car. No ticky no laundry!!! It all starts with jobs. Let's hope and pray Obama's plans can help restore those jobs or were all cooked!

Posted by: RealityCheck22 | January 5, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

No worries! They are they new Amtrack and the UAW is the latest welfare class.

There will be Gov't money aplenty for them.

Posted by: pgr88 | January 5, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Who is going to buy a car when you a visions of it being worthless in 3 years? Say I buy a gasoline-powered car that gets 24 mpg in the city and 34 on the highway, and in 2 years the automakers will raise the bar to 34/44 OR the market is drifting heavily toward electric/hybrid plugins. This would effectively do to cars what happened recently to mortgages. The responsible are left holding a house worth tens of thousands less--in this case a car worth nothing since nobody is going to buy something that is obsolete. This is the crux of the problem. Manufactures have resisted for years, and now they'll want to SLOWLY integrate technologies in to manipute the pipeline and make the very most money on new slight improvements. This is ALWAYS the danger when you invest in large corporations; they are always better, and have more incentive, at evolutionary change, NOT revolutionary. This is why it would have been better to work outside the big three and help start-ups poised with the real next generation ready to go. It would have cost much less, and jobs may have shifted location, but would have been reborn... AND they would have been reborn with a leap-frog -- an AMERICAN company out in front of Honda and Toyota--if the grants were written properly.

Posted by: NovaMike | January 5, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Thank god we have these amazing economic forecasters. They are the most worthless POS on the planet.

No one has any money.
No one is able to secure a loan. Unemployment is at an all time high.

And they print an article that no one's buying cars. Thank you captain obvious. No wonder no one buys this paper. Je$us Chri$t........

Posted by: askgees | January 5, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who buys a new car thinking it's an "investment" is kidding themselves. Cars never appreciate in value no matter what the direction of the trend is.

Posted by: JAS25 | January 5, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

How are people supposed to buy new cars when no one can get a loan of any kind? The only hope the US has is if someone in the Senate and House WAKE THE HELL UP!

Posted by: clickums | January 5, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Credit isn't the problem. We bought a car (VW) this weekend and had no problem financing it. But, we have good credit and two jobs. People with bad credit cannot get credit now. And, many people with good credit are sitting on the sidelines waiting to see how things turn out. Where credit is the problem is that COMPANIES cannot get credit. For INDIVIDUALS with good credit, access to credit hasn't changed much.

Posted by: campbell373 | January 5, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Who is going to buy a car when you have visions of it being worthless in 3 years?

Well, I, for one. It won't be worthless to me in 3 years. It may be worth a whole lot less to someone else (resale value) if future vehicles get much better mileage and technology, but it will still have value to me, as a vehicle to get me places. I just bought a new car. It replaced one I'd had for 9 years. I expect to keep this one about 10 years. The gasoline infrastructure (filling stations) isn't going away in that time.

Posted by: hitpoints | January 5, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

With "free" credit - people were much more willing to turn in perfectly good cars/trucks/suvs that had less than 60,000 miles on them. Now that we are going into a depression - I dont see anyone buying a new car unless they get into a major car accident or have a MAJOR mechanical issue that is not worth fixing. I see less than 8.5M sold next year in the US and even less in 2010. Let whoever has to go out of business go out of business. If not the rest of us who decided not to work as an assembly line worker in Michigan will have to pay these workers to sit around getting $70 bucks an hour to sit around and twiddle their thumbs for the next 60 months. It is not fair. Where does it say in the GM employee manuel "in case we go bankrupt - your retirement fund will be covered by the US taxpayer"? If this is the case and GM is a Government entity - why are they still paying shareholders dividends? The United States? I didnt sign up for this.

Posted by: mtbunker | January 5, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

It's quite ironic that Honda and Toyota's sales fell even futher than the Big 3.

So much for the failed notion that the Big 3 were responsible for their failures. The real people responsible for this mess is Wall Street, the Banks, and because it can't be said enoug, our retarded President, George W. Bush.

Posted by: RedVox | January 5, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Well gosh, this is just all so darn difficult to figure out. Lets see, here's a GM add for new cars it offers today, this MUST be the best prices/deals they can possibly offer, especially right now, right??? Now CMON people! This is America darn it, go get your $40,000.00 and go BUY one of these!! Jeez...we realize you can't even pay your mortgage and that this would cost MORE than most mortgages, but what the hell?? Heck, even if your under a 700 credit rating, we can get you into one of these babies, CMON 9% @ 60mo.s is ONLY $833/month! oh, and then there's the insurance on this big bad boy, but WTF, it's America!

Red Tag Price
$38,768 2009 Yukon4-Wheel Drive SLE-1
MSRP: $42,715 14

Posted by: Impeachbush99 | January 5, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

now cmon folks, that's RED TAG PRICING, at a mere $850/month or so you should get one of EVERY COLOR, CMON!

Posted by: Impeachbush99 | January 5, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't surprise me at all, were in a recession, unemployment high, banks not loaning, citizens taking pay cuts and still worrying about losing there jobs. Yet we still have comments asking for more suffering from our working class. I believe you will be smiling for awhile longer, it's not over yet.

Posted by: shipfreakbo214 | January 5, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

no more bailouts. let them go under.

Posted by: killthemessenger | January 5, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Toyota ripped me off with their trash rav4. They marketed it for $21.5K but when I am done with the financing the total payment will be $29.5K
If they can't make profits with all those kind of rip off how do they expect to have viable businesses?
Are taxpayers going to bailout automakers every year with billion dollars?

Posted by: mshalt | January 5, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

It is unreasonable to expect people (banks) with money to lend it out in this environment. Nobody has a stable job situation except for Congress and the President. Even businesses are defaulting on loans because consumers are refusing to consume, therefore businesses have greatly reduced incomes. There just is no way for these potential lenders to feel good about getting paid back any funds lent out.

Who worries about what their car is worth? Cars are objects that depreciate in value, they are NOT investment products. You could not pay me enough to take a Prius off your hands so in theory a Prius has a negative resale value (meaning you pay me to take it from you) of $10k or more.

To the brainiacs who thought Honda and Toyota were the Bomb and everyone should follow their model...Yeah, they laid a bomb didn't they? GM is still #1 in the world. Time to pull your heads out of the dark crevice they are in and realise that this is not a management problem, not a product problem, it is a jobs problem.

Old Henry Ford had it right, pay your people a fair wage and build a good solid product that your workers can afford and you will make a fair profit.

Posted by: skramsv | January 5, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

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