Just to keep things in perspective. News reports are gushing about auto sales "plummeting." For the 12 months ended January, sales declined 37%. That's exactly the same as the decline over the 12 months ended December. From December '08 to January '09, sales fell about 7% at a seasonally adjusted rate. As I've said before, the biggest declines in auto sales are water well under the bridge, since they happened many months ago. We're now getting down to levels that are not sustainable for very much longer, if history is any guide.
UPDATE: Brian Wesbury notes the following, which supports my view that auto sales won't remain at such low levels for very much longer: "The replacement rate for autos (how long it would take to replace all the autos now on the road, given the current pace of sales) is now at 25 years, versus a long-term average of about 13 years and 16.3 years at the worst of the 1981-82 recession. A 25 year replacement rate is unsustainably long and we expect auto sales to increase in the months ahead."