Over the past 12 months, vehicle sales were up by 15.1%. From November to December total vehicle sales increased from 10.9 million annualized units to 11.3 million annualized units. For all of 2009, sales drop from 13.2 million unites in 2008 to 10.4 million units, which was the lowest since 1982.
Car sales rose to 6 million annualized units in December, while light truck sales decreased slightly from 5.3 annualized units to 5.2 annualized units.
Among the six biggest automakers, General Motors reported a 5.7% year-over-year decline and Chrysler reported a 3.7% decline. Ford reported a 32.8% increase, Toyota showed a 32.3% increase, Honda had a 24.5% increase and Nissan had an 18.2% increase in year-over-year sales.
NAFCU Staff Economist, Katrin O'Connor said that while the report showed improvement, the current sales level still indicates an extremely weak vehicle market. While sales are expected to continue a slow upward trend in 2010, O'Connor said it will take years for the vehicle market to reach the pre-recession pace of 16 to 17 million units per year.