American Motors Corp. reported today that it lost a record $197.52 million last year as revenues declined 16.6 percent from their 1979 level.
The full-year loss, which amounted to $6 a share, compared with a profit of $70.6 million ($2.24 a share) in 1979.
For the fourth quarter, AMC lost $29 million (81 cents) compared with $12.8 million (37 cents) in the final three months of 1979.
Revenues last year fell to $2.55 billion from $3.19 billion the previous year. In the fourth quarter, revenues dropped to $657.95 million from $789.33 million in 1979.
AMC used to report results for fiscal years ending Sept. 30 but has switched to a calendar year period.
The company's previous record loss was $156 million for the 12 months ended last Sept. 30, which eclipsed the fiscal 1967 record of $75.8 million. No comparison with previous calendar years was immediately available.
The report brought overall domestic auto industry losses for the year to $4.13 billion -- and Chrysler Corp. hasn't yet announced its final 1980 results.
AMC was the third automaker to report a loss for 1980, the worst year in the history of the industry. Ford Motor Co. on Thursday said it lost $1.54 billion, a record for any U.S. company, and General Motors Corp. earlier reported a $763 million deficit.
AMC said its cars joined the industrywide slump about mid-year and sales of its four-wheel drive Jeeps fell sharply.
Jeeps, which are classified as trucks, are relatively more fuel-hungry than most AMC cars, and the rising cost of gasoline made off-the-road recreation vehicles less attractive to many consumers.
And AMC announced today that it is raising suggested retail prices on average-equipped Jeeps by $165, or 1 1/2 percent, effective Monday.
Worldwide sales of cars and Jeeps were 327,808, down 22 percent from 418,204 in 1979.Car sales rose one per cent to 228,937 for the year. This included 37,792 cars imported by Renault.