The American auto industry is getting ready to take more losses this year as expectations for light-vehicle sales reach 13-year lows. Standard & Poor’s, a credit-rating agency, has expected light-vehicle sales to fall to 14.8 million units, and it will be the first time this figure has been below 15 million units since 1995.

Ford has released an even more pessimistic view of the market, expecting light-vehicle says for the US to reach just 14.7 million. As a result, Ford has abandoned hopes of achieving its sales targets of 13% of the market, citing the goal as "inoperable," according to the Detroit Free Press.

The new comes in the wake of Ford's announcement that the company would miss its 2009 profits goal and that it would begin to phase out certain SUV's and trucks that weren't performing well in terms of sales.

In the first three months of the year, Ford captured 12.6% of the retail light-vehicles market, down from the same period last year when it had 12.9% of the market. Similar tales are to be found amongst the other Detroit manufacturers, especially Chrysler who so far has lost a full percentage point in sales, capturing just 10.2% of the retail light-vehicle market.

Despite the gloom, this may be an opportunity for carmakers to cut the excess fat in their lineup which may have remained were it not for lower sales. Chrysler, for example, has said it will reduce the number of badge-engineered vehicles in its lineup and Ford has stated it is cutting down on the production of SUVs.