Economy 101
by Stephen Manning
Associated Press Writer
January 01, 2010 01:00 AM | 483 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A car dealer attaches a new number plate to a recently sold minivan at a GM joint venture dealership in Chengdu, in southwestern China’s Sichuan province. China has overtaken the U.S. as the world’s biggest market for automobiles.
A car dealer attaches a new number plate to a recently sold minivan at a GM joint venture dealership in Chengdu, in southwestern China’s Sichuan province. China has overtaken the U.S. as the world’s biggest market for automobiles.
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WASHINGTON - The car industry got a historic makeover in 2009, most of it not for the better.

General Motors and Chrysler almost went broke and now largely owe their survival to billions in taxpayer money. Sales tanked and auto workers lost jobs in droves. And China became the world's biggest auto market.

But there were signs of hope. The Cash for Clunkers rebate program briefly revived auto lots and helped sell more fuel-efficient cars. Ford managed to avoid bankruptcy. Sales of some vehicles have picked up in recent months, though not by much.

Automakers are now staking much of their future on building more fuel-efficient cars such as plug-in hybrids and other electric vehicles. But they'll have to work hard in the new year to bring buyers back. Otherwise, 2010 could end up looking a lot like 2009.

How much did the auto industry change in 2009? Here are some telling numbers.

U.S. DOWN, CHINA UP

* 9.4 million: Auto sales in the U.S. in 2009 (January through November)

* 2.3 million: Auto sales in the U.S., January to November 2008

* 12 million plus: Auto sales in China, January to November 2009

* 17.3 million: Auto sales in the U.S. in 2001

JOB WOES (figures from November)

* 658,000: Auto industry jobs in 2009

* 809,000: Auto industry jobs in 2008

* 1.32 million: Auto industry jobs in 1999

SHRINKING GOLIATH

* Four: Number of GM brands planned by 2010

* Eight: Number of GM brands at start of 2009

* 235,000: General Motors global work force in 2009

* 853,000: General Motors global work force in 1979

* 75 cents: General Motors closing share price on May 29, 2009, last day of trading before bankruptcy

* $69: General Motors closing share price on May 28, 1999

* Three: Total GM CEOs in 2009

* Three: Total GM CEOs from 1990 to 2008

GOVERNMENT MOTORS

* $80.7 billion: Total amount of government loans to auto companies (GM, Chrysler, GMAC and Chrysler Financial)

* $2.5 billion: Amount repaid by late December

* 60.8 percent: Government's GM stake

* 9.8 percent: Government's Chrysler stake

* 0 percent: Government's Ford stake

CLUNKERS

* $2.85 billion: Total value of Cash for Clunkers rebates

* 9.2 mpg: Average increase in fuel efficiency under Clunkers

* 15,013: Toyota Prius hybrid cars sold under program

* 16,263: Ford F-150 pickup trucks sold under the program

* One: Limousine traded in

THEY'LL GET YOU WITH THE FEES

* $1.55 billion: Estimated auto industry bankruptcy fees (GM and Chrysler's attorneys, advisers, others)

* $82.29 billion: GM assets at time of bankruptcy filing

* $457 million: GM market value on last trading day before Chapter 11 filing

SALES ACCELERATE, DECELERATE

* 161,819, up 17 percent: Ford Fusion mid-size sedan sales from January to November, and increase over 2008

* 283,243, down 34 percent: Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck sales from January to November, and decrease from 2008

GAS OR ELECTRIC?

* 365,416: Ford F-Series pickup trucks sold in U.S. in 2009, through November

* Zero: Plug-in gas-electric hybrid vehicles sold in U.S. by major automakers in 2009, through November

* At least 12: Number of manufacturers planning plug-in gas-electric vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2013
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