Dismal December: Big Three Auto Sales Down Atleast 30%

By: Jessica Zartler Email
By: Jessica Zartler Email

The motor is still barely running for the US auto industry. The end of the year numbers show Chrysler, GM and Ford down at least 30 percent.
Another manufacturer is rolling out a new deal to let consumers return their cars if they lose their job. All signs of what is being called one of the worst years ever for the industry.

Car manufacturers are having a hard time getting the motor running after sliding sales in 2008.

According to end of the year numbers, Chrysler dropped the most, 53 percent from last December, Ford fell 32 percent and GM 31 percent.

And although other manufacturers like Hyundai are not suffering as much, Monday the company unveiled a new deal that offers more evidence of the ailing economy.

"This is one of a kind," Sal Iadiciccio told 11 News on Monday.

Iadicicco says Hyundai is offering a new program that will let you return your car for up to one year if you lose your job, have a medical condition that forces you to give up your license or some other crippling crisis.

"If you make the choices between eating and making your car payment, now it gives them an out to where it's not negatively affecting them and they can save their money to where it really, really counts," said Iadicicco.

Hyundai is hoping it will rev–up sales.

And while Ford didn't take the cash, Chrysler and GM are counting on $17.4 billion in bailout money to help their companies.

But the money comes with a catch--the companies will have to prove they can turn a profit, cut executive pay and perks and work out a deal with unions.

But more than the government, automakers will have to wow consumers to get them back in their cars and the automakers back on the road to financial recovery.

President-elect Barack Obama has promised to meet with the heads of the big three and the United Auto Workers.

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