An auto sales slump hit the U.S. hard this past year. With total annual sales down some 24 percent from the previous year, automakers are hurting. The U.S. isn't the only market that's taken a beating -- the Japanese auto industry recorded a 38-year low in car sales.
With 2009 going on record as one of the worst years for the economy, Japanese consumers kept their wallets closed and saved money. The total auto sales for the year fell below 3 million for the first time since 1971, according to the Japanese Automotive Dealers Association. The Japanese government offered an incentive program similar to our CARS plan. The action may have helped sales a bit, but didn't stop the inevitable. When minicars (vehicles with 660 cc or less in displacement) were included in the data, the number totaled 4.6 million units, a 31-year low. That total has fallen below 5 million for the first time since 1978.
Source: The Detroit News