Budget cuts, longer holidays, shorter working weeks or fewer shifts on the factory rota – car manufacturers are quickly adapting to the continuing decline in sales of new vehicles.
But is it going to be all recession-laden doom and gloom in 2009 for the motoring industry?
Far from it. In fact, Britain will be seeing a healthy clutch of all-new models arriving between now and late spring, and there’s certainly no slowdown in the drive to produce frugal, climate-friendly new cars.
No fewer than 50 new models from car makers worldwide, will make their debuts at the prestigious North American International Auto Show, which opens in Detroit on January 17.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans – together with some 6,000 journalists – are expected to converge on the show, proving that the public interest is still as strong as ever: it’s just the actual buying of a new car that has become a little more difficult for many.
Every new motor that comes onto the market will now be watched closely and for some manufacturers the next launch could be a make-or-break event.
Spanish marque Seat shouldn’t have too much trouble promoting its latest newcomer in the upper-medium saloon market.
Seat’s all-new Exeo saloon arrives in showrooms this April, competitively priced from £17,740.
It’s an elegant five-seat saloon, and holds the promise of parent company Volkswagen’s reputation for quality and strong levels of standard equipment.
What Seat injects into the car is the firm’s strong tradition of sporting character, which will be offered in S, SE, Sport and range-topping SE Lux trims, with an initial choice of three engines.
The powerplants cover a pair of 2.0-litre turbo-diesels with varying bhp outputs, and a potent 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit.
They all get six-speed manual gearboxes as standard, tip-top acceleration and decent mpg returns.
Moving up from the starter S trim will produce such luxuries as rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, and auto-dimming rear view mirror, sports suspension, sports seats and black leather upholstery, depending upon version.