Car manufacturer General Motors has said that December sales were down by 10 per cent and off 33 per cent for 2009, in a year which the company endured bankruptcy court and saw industry sales drop to its lowest level in 30 years.

The trouble-plagued car maker faltered even as Ford Motor Company recorded a 33 per cent jump in sales last month, and a 15 per cent decline for the year.  Chrysler also dropped by 4 per cent in the month of December and suffered the worst sales results since 1962.

Sales of Nissan vehicles jumped by 18 per cent however fell 19 per cent for 2009.

Both GM and Chrysler are recovering from time in Chapter 11 and bad publicity after taking government aid.

The automotive industry as a whole suffered for the entire year, as credit froze, consumer confidence and the economy faltered and unemployment rose.

The car industry went into a massive transformation in 2009, which has been described as one of the most turmoil-filled years in its 100 year history.

General Motors and Chrysler, which both filed for bankruptcy protection after almost collapsing, are still suffering as they fight to bring back sales and pay back massive government loans.  Ford has been a relatively strong performer, but also needs sales to increase this year.

Last summer, the US government’s Cash for Clunkers program eased the pain by increasing sales with $2.85 billion in government-backed rebates.  Americans heeded the call and bought nearly 700,000 cars, however 2009 was still a shocking year for the new vehicle industry.

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