In our monthly “just the facts” chart, we publish the sales results for all makers in the U.S. Overall, October of 2009 continued a bad year as light vehicle sales declined 24% year-to-date when compared with 2008, with light trucks dropping more than passenger cars.
A straight percentage comparison could be misleading though, as the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 sent global markets into a tailspin, from which they have not yet recovered.
Prior to the financial meltdown, the U.S. auto market in 2008, though weak compared with 2007, was running much stronger than the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Selling rate of just under 11 million units that we are all enduring as the Great Recession carries on.
While there are signs that a jobless recovery of sorts is underway, people without jobs and the larger group of worried workers, concerned about their future, are not good prospects for a new vehicle purchases.
Among the domestic makers, Chrysler remains in a tenuous position. Second tier Japanese brands – Mitsubishi and Suzuki – are taking big hits. In addition, luxury brands, said to be recession proof, are being hurt as well.
A chart follows.