Autos Now in the Tank - Sales Down to 1981 Levels

Remember in the 1980's (or look in your history books) on how important it was to buy American cars to support American workers?

Well, read the 2009 headlines:

GM, Ford Drag U.S. Sales to Worst Month Since ’81

General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. said U.S. sales plummeted at least 40 percent in January and Toyota Motor Corp. dived by almost a third, dragging the world’s biggest auto market to the worst month since 1981.

U.S. industrywide deliveries tumbled 37 percent to 656,976 as the recession ravaged demand. That translates into an annual rate of 9.6 million after an average of more than 16 million vehicles in this decade, research firm Autodata Corp. said.

“In this downward spiral, as a company it’s hard to plan your business and as a consumer it’s hard to change your sentiment,” said Joe Barker, an analyst at consulting firm CSM Worldwide Inc. in Northville, Michigan. “We’re all looking for some sense of stability in the sales rate.”

Job losses and dwindling consumer confidence add to the challenges for GM and Chrysler LLC while they work to restructure with $17.4 billion in federal loans, and ratchet up pressure on Ford, which says it doesn’t need government aid.

Instead of buying American cars made by American workers, we got NAFTA, plant closings and labor arbitrage. Off to Mexico those jobs went and then to Brazil and traveling further for cheaper labor....China....

So, here we are with the United States auto manufacturing imploding.

Maybe it's time to rethink those business models eh?

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they added a tax deduction for car buyers yesterday --

"... Angling to spur automobile sales as part of the economic stimulus package, the Senate voted to add an $11 billion provision to the bill that will allow most Americans to claim a tax deduction for the sales tax and any loan interest on the purchase of a new car between Nov. 12, 2008, and the end of 2009.

The vote, 71 to 26, in favor of the tax break for car buyers came as the Senate began to act on what is expected to be a long list of amendments to the stimulus measure. ..." -- Additions by Senate Push Stimulus Near $1 Trillion
-- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/04/us/politics/04stimulus.html?ref=us

(just sales tax and loan interest tho -- it's not enough)

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