A Nation Of Mechanics

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Jack Jones Buick in Bethlehem, Penn., closed its doors in 2006. The dealer that bought it is now only selling pre-owned vehicles. Mike Webkist/Planet Money Flickr Pool hide caption

itoggle caption Mike Webkist/Planet Money Flickr Pool

February sales figures are out from Ford and Toyota, and the numbers don't look good. Ford is reporting a 48% drop in sales compared to the same time last year, and Toyota reports a 37% drop.

These numbers are bad enough, but take a look at Ford's production plans. The company says it plans to produce just 425,000 vehicles in the second quarter of 2009, compared to 685,000 vehicles in 2008 and 770,000 vehicles in 2007.

There is some bright news in the automotive world, however.

With new car sales plummeting, the country's largest auto parts supply chain is seeing its stock soar. Autozone's stock is currently selling for $152 a share, up over 20% from the same time last year. Another thing on the rise, the average age of a car in the U.S.— it's 9.4 years right now.

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