October’s auto sales are expected to reflect the worst industrywide sales month in 16 years. All the top automakers reported sharp sales declines, with General Motors having the worst month of all of them.
GM reported that its U.S. sales plunged 45% in October. The automaker said it was "the worst industry sales month in the post-WWII era".
"We are obviously disappointed in our results, which reflect a difficult comparison with a strong year-ago October performance," said Mark LaNeve, GM vice president in charge of North American sales.
"We believe there is considerable pent-up demand from the last three years, but until the credit markets open up and consumer confidence improves, the entire U.S. economy, and any industry like autos that relies on financing, will suffer. These are extraordinary times for the U.S. economy, for consumers and for an auto industry that is running at deep recessionary levels relative to 1999-2006."
Ford’s October sales are down 30% from a year ago, including the company’s Volvo unit, CNNMoney.com reports.
Toyota, which is currently the number two automaker in terms of U.S. sales, posted a 23% decline from October sales a year ago.
Edmunds.com is forecasting that total U.S. auto sales will be down 29%. Chrysler is expected to post a 38% decline among its three brands. Edmunds.com is also predicting declines of 17% for Honda and 29% for Nissan from year-earlier levels.
GM said it will start its annual "Red Tag" sale on Tuesday, November 4, rather than in mid-November, as the company usually does, reports the Wall Street Journal. GM reportedly will offer as much as $8,500 off select 2008 and 2009 models.