Some Canadians may remember 1998 as a year of close finishes.
Canadian car and truck sales dipped by barely a fraction of a point last year, leaving it the second-best year of the decade.
Sales of 1,393,572 were down 664 units from 1997's level, which was the biggest year of the 1990s.
At Chrysler Canada, December was even more of a photo finish. Chrysler came within eight sales of bumping Ford as the market's No. 2 automaker for the month.
A winter downturn stymied what started as a booming year for Canadian retailers. Business sagged during the fourth quarter, and a 21 percent December slide caused by severe weather around the country clipped sales.
Ford's December results nose-dived 41.7 percent, mainly due to a 51.8 percent plunge in trucks. General Motors reported a 28.5 percent decline in combined car and truck sales, while Chrysler weathered the month with only a 5.5 percent dip.
It was Chrysler's best year in the past 10 in Canada, and its second-best year ever, with a 1998 increase of 5.1 percent.
Toyota/Lexus appeared to weather December fine, with a monthly sales rise of 12.4 percent over December 1997. Total volume for the year improved 21.7 percent, pushing it ahead of Honda/Acura.
Ford and GM were hit hardest for the year, with a combined decline of 66,415 units. Ford's sales slipped 14 percent, GM, 4.9 percent.