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The Hamilton Spectator
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Tuesday January 13, 2009
Automakers put on a brave face as they introduced new models at the Detroit auto show amid a collapse of industry sales that could lead to the disappearance of iconic brands.

A financial crisis, credit crunch and deepening recession pushed 2008 US sales down 18 percent in the steepest decline in 29 years and to the lowest level since 1992.

This year is expected to be even worse and the trouble has spread to Europe, Asia and the rest of the Americas.

"We're seeing the impact and ferocity of deep recessionary trends in the US," General Motors chief operating officer Fritz Henderson told reporters Monday.

"It's really rippling throughout all of the globe. In the month of December there were only two markets that were up versus December of '07: Poland and China."

Global auto sales are forecast to fall by more than four million vehicles in 2009 to 66.8 million units with the bulk of the losses occuring in the United States, according to IHS Global Insight.

Both GM and Ford were fielding questions about the futures of their Swedish marks Saab and Volvo, which are currently under review for a potential sale and are awaiting a bailout package of loans from the European investment bank. Source...

Putting on a brave face at the Detroit auto show
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