We didn't know sales for the U.S. auto industry in 2008 would be this bad when the year began, but it sure ended on a fitting note. Over the past six months or so we've seen the U.S. auto sales market nearly collapse and almost take our own domestic auto industry with it.

Nevertheless, there were a couple of standouts. Both MINI and Subaru somehow managed to post sales gains in 2008 compared to the previous year. The success of MINI is likely due to production capacity more than popularity, but we have no explanation for Subaru other than its sales staff is more persuasive than at your average car dealership.

As for the big dogs, despite the whole lot of them being hit equally hard over the past few months, Japanese automakers had a stronger first half of 2008. As such, their year-end sales data looks better than the domestics with Toyota being the worst performing Japanese automaker at -15.4% and Honda fairing the best with a drop of just 7.91%. In comparison, Ford Motor Company (-20.7%) and General Motors (-22.9%) were equally unimpressive while the Chrysler Group hemorrhaged sales and finished down a full 30%.

As for the rest of the auto industry, it's all there below and it isn't pretty.

BY THE NUMBERS - 2008
Brand Vol. % Change Total Sales 2008 Total Sales 2007 DSR % Change Daily Avg. 2008 Daily Avg. 2007
Acura
-19.8%
144,504
180,104
-20%
469
587
Audi -6.1% 87,760 93,506 -6.4% 285 305
BMW -15.2% 249,113 293,795 -15.5% 809 957
Buick -26.2% 137,197 185,791 -26.4% 445 605
Cadillac -24.9% 161,159 214,726 -25.2% 523 699
Chevrolet -20.5% 1,801,131 2,265,641 -20.8% 5,848 7,380
Chrysler -38.3% 335,108 543,011 -38.5% 1,088 1,769
Dodge -25.9% 784,113 1,058,402 -26.2% 2,546 3,448
Ford -19.7% 1,687,731 2,101,244 -19.9% 5,480 6,844
GMC -25.5% 376,996 505,746 -25.7% 1,224 1,647
Honda -6.4% 1,284,261 1,371,438 -6.7% 4,170 4,467
HUMMER -50.9% 27,485 55,986 -51% 89 182
Hyundai NA
Infiniti -11% 112,989 127,038 -11.3% 367 414
Jeep -29.7% 333,901 475,237 -30% 1,084 1,548
Kia -10.5% 273,397 305,473 -10.8% 888 995
Lexus -21% 260,087 329,177 -21.2% 844 1,072
Lincoln -18.4% 107,295 131,487 -18.7% 348 428
Mazda -10.9% 263,949 296,110 -11.2% 857 965
Mercedes-Benz -11.2% 225,128 253,433 -11.5% 731 826
Mercury -28.6% 120,248 168,422 -28.8% 390 549
MINI 28.6% 54,077 42,045 28.2% 176 137
Mitsubishi -24.6% 97,257 128,993 -24.8% 316 420
Nissan -10.9% 838,361 941,200 -11.2% 2,722 3,066
Pontiac -25.3% 267,348 358,022 -25.6% 868 1,166
Porsche -25% 26,035 34,693 -25.2% 85 113
Saab -34.7% 21,368 32,711 -34.9% 69 107
Saturn -21.7% 188,004 240,091 -21.9% 610 782
Subaru 0.3% 187,699 187,208 -0.06 609 610
Suzuki NA
Toyota -14.6% 1,957,575 2,291,648 -14.9% 6,356 7,464
Volkswagen -3.2% 223,128 230,572 -3.5% 724 751
Volvo -31.2% 73,102 106,213 -31.4% 237 346
COMPANIES
BMW Group -9.7%
303,190
335,840
-10%
984
1,094
Chrysler LLC -30% 1,453,122 2,076,650 -30.3% 4,717 6,764
FoMoCo -20.7% 1,988,376 2,507,366 -30% 6,456 8,167
General Motors -22.9% 2,980,688 3,866,620 -23.2% 9,678 12,594
Honda America -7.91%
1,428,765
1,551,542
-8.21%
4,369
5,054
Nissan NA -10.9% 951,350 1,068,238 -11.2% 3,081 3,480
Toyota Mo Co -15.4%
2,217,662 2,620,825 -15.7% 7,200 8,537

2008 had 308 selling days versus 307 selling days for 2007