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The sales of light vehicles dropped from 16.1 million vehicles in 2007 to 13.2 million vehicles in 2008. Light vehicle sales haven't dropped off that sharply in one year since 1974, when sales fell by 3 million vehicles from the 1973 sales level. Though the sales decline in the early 1980's was large, the decline was spread over several years. Historically, light vehicle sales rebounded quickly after these sharp declines.

Light Vehicle Sales, 1970-2008
Graph showing the light vehicle sales from 1997 to 2008. The drop from 2007 to 2008 was 2.9 million vehicles. For more detailed information, see the table below.

Supporting Information

Light Vehicle Sales, 1970-2008
Year Sales (Millions)
1970 9.9
1971 12.0
1972 13.2
1973 14.2
1974 11.2
1975 10.9
1976 13.1
1977 14.6
1978 15.1
1979 14.0
1980 11.4
1981 10.7
1982 10.4
1983 12.1
1984 14.2
1985 15.4
1986 16.0
1987 14.8
1988 15.3
1989 14.4
1990 13.9
1991 12.3
1992 12.8
1993 13.9
1994 15.0
1995 14.7
1996 15.0
1997 15.1
1998 15.4
1999 16.8
2000 17.2
2001 17.1
2002 16.8
2003 16.5
2004 16.9
2005 17.0
2006 16.5
2007 16.1
2008 13.2

Source: Ward's Automotive Group, Ward's Motor Vehicle Facts & Figures 2009.

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