Big carmakers report 2009 sales declines
DETROIT (AP) – Big automakers are glad to see the end of 2009, the worst year for U.S. sales in nearly 30 years.
Detroit’s three automakers and the top Japanese manufacturers – Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co., and Toyota Motor Corp. – all saw sharp declines last year, but saw momentum going into 2010.
Last year was brutal for most of the industry as credit froze, the economy and consumer confidence faltered and unemployment rose. U.S. sales haven’t been so bad since 1982.
Sales of smaller, cheaper vehicles, however, helped drive gains. Hyundai continued its surge with an 8-percent yearly gain, while its low-cost Kia brand reported 2009 sales gains of nearly 10 percent and a 44-percent gain in December.