GM U.S. Sales Drop 45%

Truck sales were off 51%

Saying the industry was on track for its worst month in 25 years, General Motors said on Nov. 3 its October sales tumbled 45% from a year ago.

GM delivered 170,585 new cars and trucks in the month, a stunning decline attributed to "uncertainty over the deepening credit crisis" and weak consumer confidence. GM truck sales of 97,119 were down 51% and car sales of 73,466 were off 34%.

"The market has been shrinking for three years, but in October we saw a dramatic decline for the industry and GM," said Mark LaNeve, vice president at GM North America. "We are obviously disappointed in our results which reflect a difficult comparison with a strong year-ago October performance. More importantly, it also reflects an unprecedented credit crunch that is dramatically impacting the entire U.S. economy -- from the housing market to big and small companies to banks to family-run businesses. The credit freeze has also had a very negative impact on consumers' confidence and their purchase behavior across America."

LaNeve said that adjusted for population growth, "this is probably the worst industry sales month in the post-WWII era."

LaNeve added, "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."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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