Sales of GM and Ford vehicles drop with SUVs like the Ford Excursion dropping 24 percent, though pickups sales remain strong.
Strong December sales helped round out a spotty year for automakers, marked by incentive-driven sales peaks and disappointing lows.
Year-end promotions boosted industrywide sales in the USA 7.7% in December over a year ago, pushing sales for all of 2004 to 16.9 million vehicles. That's up from 16.7 million vehicles in 2003 but off the record 17.4 million in 2000.
For the first time, Japan's Toyota (TM) sold more than 2 million cars in the USA last year. That's a 10% increase over 2003. Asian automakers Honda(HMC), Subaru and Hyundai also reported record annual sales.
Spc. Jeffrey Hamme and Staff Sgt. Michelangelo Merksamer of HHC, 1/506th Infantry, point out features of the Hybrid Electric Humvee at the AUSA Annual Meeting earlier this month. The two Soldiers participated in a Military Utility Assessment of the prototype vehicle last month at Fort Campbell, Ky.
Ford's 'Hybrid Patrol,' a 10-city initiative this fall that aims to show hybrid drivers how to drive for best fuel economy. EV World photo of Bill and Lisa Hammond on way to first Ford Patrol event in Detroit during stop-over in Omaha.