Car sales in the US last month dropped to levels not seen since 1983 as the effects of the credit crunch and global downturn took their toll.
In the mass market GM suffered worst, selling 168,719 vehicles, a 45 per cent drop in volumes compared to October last year. GM’s North American marketing chief, Mark LaNeve, has described the month as “probably the worst industry sales month in the post-world war two era."
Volvo's sales halved over the same period, as did Porsche's, with the German maker suffering particularly badly from the lack of liquidity in the auto finance sector.
Despite this appalling result, analysts believe that Porsche may have made a profit larger than its revenue, due to its unique part-hedge fund, part-car maker status, and that shareholders may again benefit fron a large special dividend.
The company's full-year results will be published at the end of this month.
Sales are down across the sector, though other car makers escaped with relatively light falls in sales: Chrysler - 35 per cent; Ford - 30 per cent; Honda - 25 per cent; Toyota - 23 per cent.