Ford sees sharp drop in U.S. sales
Ford Motor Co expects industrywide December U.S. auto sales to drop by some 35 percent from a year earlier with no sign of a turnaround in the first quarter of 2009, Reuters reported.
Ford, the No. 2 U.S. automaker, expects that full-year industrywide sales of light vehicles in the world's largest market will drop to near 13.2 million for 2008, down from near 16.2 million in 2007, Ford's chief sales analyst George Pipas said on Friday.
The only other time the U.S. auto industry has seen a similar 3-million unit plunge in sales over the course of a single year was during 1974 in the wake of the first oil shock, Pipas told reporters.
"We're not looking for the first quarter to be much different from what we saw in the fourth quarter," Pipas said in a briefing with reporters.