The figure below shows the effect of the past three recessions on light vehicle sales. Of the last three recessions, the recent one had the most profound effect on light vehicle sales with a decline of 37.4% over a three-year period. In 2006, vehicle sales began to decline and then plummeted from about 16 million sales in 2007 to about 10 million in 2009, roughly equivalent to the low in 1982. The subsequent recovery in light vehicle sales from the low in 2009 was similar to that of the other two with projected sales expected to reach 15.8 million by the end of 2013.

Light Vehicle Sales Recovery for Model Years 1979—1986, 1988—1995, and 2006—2013
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Supporting Information

Light Vehicle Sales Recovery for Model Years 1979—1986, 1988—1995, and 2006—2013
Model YearSales (Millions) Model YearSales (Millions) Model YearSales (Millions)
197913.5 198815.3 200616.3
198010.9 198914.4 200715.9
198110.2 199013.9 200813.0
198210.0 199112.3 200910.2
198311.7 199212.8 201011.4
198413.6 199313.9 201112.5
198514.7 199415.0 201214.2
198616.0 199514.7 2013*15.8
* Sales estimation for January—December 2013
Sources: 1979-2012: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Transportation Energy Data Book, Ed. 32, Table 3.11, July 2013.
2013: Crain Communications, "Automotive News," September 9, 2013, p. 62.

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