US auto crisis deepens as vehicle sales continue to plunge

Dec 02, 2008 | 12:38 PM | Michael Cowden

Catastrophe seems to be the new norm for the North American auto industry as vehicle sales plunged off a cliff again last month, according to sales data released Tuesday by major automakers.

Both domestic and foreign-based automakers reported sales declines that topped 30 percent and reached as high as 47 percent in the case of Chrysler LLC, Auburn Hills, Mich. Sales by General Motors Corp. fell 41.3 percent in November compared with the same month last year, while Ford Motor Co.'s sales tumbled 30.6 percent.

Most of the Big Three Detroit-area automakers issued dire pronouncements on the state of the industry. Some called for urgent government action to save them.

Detroit-based GM posted November sales of 154,877 cars and trucks compared with 263,654 in the same month last year, while year-to-date sales of 2.8 million vehicles were off 22.1 percent.

"In November we saw the continuation of the dramatic decline in volume for the industry. Every manufacturer is posting awful numbers, and we are no exception," Mark LaNeve, vice president of GM North America vehicle sales, service and marketing, said in a statement.....

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