Ala auto companies face tough times in '09

Montgomery, AL – - Data shows 2009 was the toughest year
yet for the state's young auto production industry.
Company production estimates show the three factories operated
by Mercedes-Benz, Honda and Hyundai combined to produce nearly
480,000 vehicles.
That's down from 2008's output of 672,102 vehicles and the
lowest since 2005, when the automakers produced 479,466 vehicles.
The state industry hit its peak in 2007, as 739,019 cars and light
trucks rolled off the assembly lines.
Alabama automakers have dealt with a global sales slump by
shortening work weeks and extending holidays.
Auburn University Montgomery economist Keivan Deravi says 2010
should see state auto production remain stable, with minimal growth
over 2009's output.