February Sends A Chill Through Automakers
March 4, 2009 at 5:24 AM (PT)
Generous $3,000 rebates and cheap loans weren't enough to lure shoppers into car showrooms last month, as the deepening recession cut auto sales, which sank to their lowest level in 27 years, reports THE NEW YORK POST. With car sales tumbling, radio and other media continue to lose advertising as the auto makers look for budgets to cut.
GENERAL MOTORS suffered the worst drop, with sales tumbling 53%, while FORD fell 48% and TOYOTA got hit with a 40% drop. CERBERUS-owned CHRYSLER recorded a 44% decline.
The dismal results YESTERDAY added more gloom around the government's bailouts of ailing GM and CHRYSLER, which have totaled $17.4 billion so far and could go higher to prevent the two automakers from filing for bankruptcy.
The auto industry had expected FEBRUARY to be a bottom to its 15-month slump in sales, but last month's severe drop dashed hopes for a recovery, said FORD economist EMILY KOLINSKI MORRIS.
Overall, automakers expect FEBRUARY's final sales to be about 695,000, or about 9 million on an annualized basis -- the lowest rate since 1982.