The streets will run red with ink today as automakers announce their December and year-end U.S. sales numbers. Projections for the Detroit 3, two-thirds of which are presently on taxpayer-funded life support, are pretty much a horror show, and it's not exactly a trip to Disneyland for the import automakers, either. They're exiting the ring battered and bloodied as well, with Bloomberg analysts projecting a 36% drop in December for Honda and a 40% slide for Toyota. As has been previously reported, mighty Toyota expects to post its first operating loss in 71 years once FY 2008 comes to a close at the end of March.

Still, while Toyota licks its wounds alongside its rivals following a brutal 2008 sales year, it's ready to grab a consolation prize in Canada. Up there, early numbers indicate that Toyota sales were up 11% versus 2007. That's expected to give Toyota the #2 sales spot for the year in Canada for the first time. General Motors will retain the top position, and either Ford or Chrysler (last year's #2) will get pushed off the medal stand in the battle for third place.

[Source: Financial Post]

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