AutoNation Inc., the largest chain of auto dealers in the U.S., in December secured only 22 auto loans for car buyers from Chrysler Financial and nine from GMAC, down from 823 and 1,527 a year earlier, respectively.
Auto sales worst in 26 years
Sales tracker Autodata said the seasonally-adjusted annual sales rate, or SAAR, fell to 9.6 million from 15.4 million a year earlier. That is the first time it has been below the 10 million mark in more than 26 years. GM's director of sales analysis Mike DiGiovanni said that January will mark the first month on record that auto sales in the United States trailed sales in China.