The title above just about says it all, as reported by AP:
Ford Motor Co.’s U.S. sales plummeted 32 percent in December and Toyota MotorCorp.'s fell 37 percent as car and truck buyers continued to steer clear of showrooms due to the dismal economy. Aaron Bragman, automotive marketing research analyst for IHS Global Insight in Troy, Mich., said the sales drops are not unique to the U.S.-based automakers. "This is a domestic market problem because we see the same kinds of declines at Toyota and Honda as we see at GM and Ford," he said. "It's not a matter of getting financing. It's a matter of getting shoppers."Bottom up economists have warned us about lower incomes and diminishing shopper numbers do to the supply side, top down, policies of the Republican Party. How can companies expand, hire and produce more when they don’t have customers? It’s that simple. It’s not union jobs and benefits is it? Maybe the southern Republicans who so blatantly wanted to break up the unions will turn to their states Japanese auto makers and ask them to reduce salaries and benefits so they can compete and sell more cars. Don’t bet on it.
Things are so bad that this unbelievably sad, jaw dropping promotional idea from Hyundai may be the harbinger of things to come:
Hyundai Motor America is trying to woo skittish buyers by promising to let them return cars free for up to a year if they lose their jobs and can't make the payments. The "Hyundai Assurance Program" applies to customers stricken by misfortune outside of their control, such as losing their job, becoming disabled or losing their drivers license for medical reasons. It covers depreciation up to $7,500.
Having worked with advertising agencies producing radio and TV ads, it’s easy to see Hyundai has tapped into who they’re selling cars to: the collapsing middle class.