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.
After a record 40 million recalls in the first half of this year, automakers are realizing they need safety advocates on their senior management teams. But consumer champion Ralph Nader says the new safety roles aren’t good enough.
Chrysler Group LLC announced Tuesday that it will establish a new office of Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance whose head, Scott Kunselman, will report directly to CEO Sergio Marchionne.
Despite blatant criticism on hydrogen fuel cell technology by Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, Toyota Motor Corp (ADR) (NYSE:TM) is still backing itself to roll out an alternate fuel vehicle it thinks can create an impact as profound as that of its Prius hybrid.