Well, the figures we’ve all be waiting for are in and they’re at least as bad as many had feared.

Keys The car sales slowdown in July and August was worrying, but these are always low volume months as punters wait for the new September registration mark.

But today the numbers for this most critical month of the year have been published and there’s no hiding from them. Even the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders which represents the industry, generates the figures and can generally be relied up to find something positive to say, was relentlessly gloomy, not only about the numbers but the outlook too.

Unsurprisingly, the dedicated SUV manufacturers were among the worst performers, with Land-Rover losing all but half of its UK business compared to the same month last year, while Jeep was hit harder still, with sales a staggering 61 per cent down.

But the carnage didn’t end there, as a quick look at the luxury brands shows: Bentley, Lexus, Saab and Alfa Romeo all recorded sales drops of over 40 per cent, Porsche lost a third of its UK business and even BMW a quarter. As for the mainstreams, Citroen, Ford and Peugeot were all off by over 20 per cent while, somewhat terrifyingly, Renault did less than half the business in September 08 that it did in September 07.