December 2009 sales create an optimistic outlook on 2010

The automotive industry is emerging from the worst year it has faced since 1970 and automakers are cautiously optimistic that a recovery is under way for U.S. auto sales.

Executives and analysts said yesterday that they expect car and light truck sales to increase to 11.5 million or more in 2010 as compared to 10.4 million in 2009. Some very optimistic analysts are forecasting sales to exceed 13 million vehicles, still below the peak of 17.4 million at the start of the last decade.

The decline in sales started in 2005 and went on until 2008, forcing General Motors and Chrysler into bankruptcy and pushing Toyota into the red for the first time since 1950.

Sales in December totaled 1,010,003, up 1.9 percent from December 2008.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Detroit News