For the first 10 months of 2008, new-car sales were down 6.1 percent from last year.
Light-truck deliveries were socked much harder. They fell 22.6 percent.
Today the credit crunch heads the list of retailer problems. Dealers say customers are hard to find. And when you do find one, the finance company is likely to blow him away.
Every market segment except small cars took a bath. But small cars sales have declined since gasoline began slipping back toward $2 a gallon. Last summer, all carmakers -- especially the Detroiters -- were doing their darnedest to crank out little autos. Now some may be having second thoughts.
In June, 201,195 new small cars were sold in the United States. In October, sales dwindled to 105,153 units. Of course, the virtual collapse of the new-vehicle market contributed to that 47.7 percent drop. But the gnawing suspicion remains that Americans really dont want small cars.
For 10 months, small cars were up 2.4 percent. Top cat in the small-car derby was the Ford Focus, with 175,958 sales for 10 months. The Toyota Corolla/Matrix had 307,071, but thats two nameplates; Toyota refuses to break them out.