The company announced today that it believes when final December sales figures are released, we are going to see a horrible month, with Ford estimating that industry-wide, December sales will probably be around 35% lower than the same period last year.
When you consider the estimated December numbers you can start to get a feel for just how bad 2008 has been. Consider this: in 2007, industry-wide sales of light vehicles in America totaled 16.2 million. In 2008, that number is expected to drop dramatically down to around 13.2 million light vehicles in reaction to lower consumer spending and tightened credit lending.
The last time that the industry has seen a 3 million drop in auto sales was all the back in 1974, the year after the 1973 oil embargo in which Arab countries in OPEC, in addition to Egypt and Syria, declared they would no longer ship oil to America for its role in helping supply Israel during the Yom Kippur War.
Perhaps you are hoping that industry insiders are at least a little bit optimistic about the fate of the auto industry as we embark on 2009? Well, don't get too far ahead of yourself. According to Ford, the hard times are not ready to come to an end just yet. Ford believes that at least through the first quarter of 2009 things are going to continue to remain as they are now... in other words... not good.
Michael Fowlkes has worked as a stock trader for seven years and spent the last four years working as an analyst for the online investment advisory service Investor's Observer.