Reuters - U.S. auto sales plunged by 36 percent in December led by outsized declines at Chrysler LLC, Hyundai Motor (005380.KS) and Toyota Motor Corp(7203.T) as the battered industry closed out its weakest year since 1992 in its largest single market.
DETROIT — Chrysler Group LLC on Friday said that late-month snow and ice storms pressured U.S. auto sales, causing the industry to show only a 1% gain over last year, missing expectations of a 4% increase.
“It looks like the bad weather kept the sales penned in,” said Chrysler spokesman Ralph Kisiel.
December’s late-month holiday period is generally one of the biggest selling times at U.S. auto dealerships each year.
OTTAWA — Canadian retail sales unexpectedly plunged 2.1% in December amid slumping new-car sales and a weak Christmas shopping season, Statistics Canada data said on Friday.
The drop, far larger than the 0.3% decline predicted by economists, suggested that already moderated expectations for fourth-quarter growth might be too optimistic. The monthly fall was the greatest since a 2.4% decline in April 2010.
The Canadian dollar softened to its weakest level in seven months against the U.S. dollar after inflation and retail sales data came in below forecast.
PARIS (Reuters) - Car sales dropped further in austerity-hit France and Spain last month, and France's CCFA auto industry association cut its full-year market forecast, highlighting the pain for automakers that have warned there is no recovery in sight. French September car registrations dropped 18 percent year-on-year, while Spain's plunged 37 percent, the countries' main industry associations said on Monday. Italian market figures were due later in the day. The Spanish plunge was accentuated by a September 1 sales-tax increase, which had brought forward some sales to August. ...