Money CNN details:
The auto industry ended its worst year in memory with one of its best sales months of the year.Below are sales of those "big seven". Were sales up from a year ago? They sure were, BUT that "jump" is still 27% below December 2007 figures.
Overall industry-wide U.S. sales soared 15% compared to a year ago, the biggest percentage gain since July 2005. Total sales topped the 1 million mark for only the second time this year, trailing only August. Sales spiked that month thanks to the federal government's Cash for Clunkers program.
Most of the automakers posted better than expected results as five of the seven largest automakers reported increases of 18% or more from a year earlier.
But the boom in December wasn't enough to lift the industry out of its year-long slump. Last year was a tumultuous one for the industry to say the least as GM and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy and many auto plants and dealerships closed.
Full-year sales fell 21% from 2008 to 10.4 million, a 27-year low. Last year's sales are also far below the 16.7 million annual average during the 10 years before the start of the recession.
An improvement, but still a long way to go.