New car sales barely exceeded 7,000 units in January this year, down 63% . Several big companies like Dacia, Ford, Opel Skoda and Chevrolet showed consistent sale drops of over 70% correlated with a dramatic 62% decrease in production due to Dacia's move to shut down its factory for several weeks, official data shows.

The crisis, the uncertainty over the new version of the environmental tax and harsher conditions for bank credits downgraded the car market by 64% in January alone. Dacia registered the biggest decreases as sales dropped to 1,600 units compared to 6,000 in January last year. Ford managed to sell only 322 cars, registering a 77% drop compared to January 2008.

If Opel usually sold at least 1,500 cars per month, a 76% decrease cut sales to less than 300. Chevrolet is another company to feel the economic crunch with a 73% drop in sales in January, with less then 200 car sales/month. Skoda seemed to have followed the trend with a sale regression of 72%.