Chrysler's sales were off 53% in December compared to the same time last year, the Wall Street Journal reports today, with Ford's off 32% and General Motors down 31%, further indicating a steep decline in US demand for cars. Foreign makers took an even harder hit last month: A 35% decline at Honda propelled that company to its first annual loss since 1993, Bloomberg says, while Toyota fell 37%.
Despite the drop, Toyota still edged out Ford for total 2008 sales, the AP reports. Watchers expect that when all the numbers are in, the sector will have fallen as much as 40% in December. The annual trend is somewhat less alarming—Ford sunk nearly 21%, GM nearly 23%—but analysts think the short-term numbers are a better indicator of what 2009 will look like.