Business

Harsh year for auto industry

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 like 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)

12.3 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

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

SALES ACCELERATE, DECELERATE

Up 17 percent: Ford Fusion midsize sedan sales over 2008

Down 34 percent: Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck sales from 2008

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