US auto sales fall amid credit crunch
Sales of automobiles in the US plummeted in September as a weaker economy and tighter access to credit kept buyers away, industry figures showed Wednesday, dpa reported.
Both domestic and foreign automakers saw double digit declines. General Motors sales took the smallest hit falling 16 per cent from the year-earlier period, while Ford Motor Corp was pummelled by a 35 per cent drop and Chrysler slid 33 per cent.
Asian automakers also saw sales fall about a third, with a 32 per cent drop at Toyota Motor Corp, a 24 per cent decline at Honda and a 37 per cent slide at Nissan Motor Co.
The US auto market has been hard hit for months by higher petrol prices, but as the prices at the pump have eased slightly concern about the health of the overall financial system have increased as credit has dried up and several major financial firms have failed.
According to an analysis by CNW Marketing Research, the approval rate for car loans is down to 63 per cent from 83 per cent last year.
"There is a psychological impact of all the news about banks in trouble," Tom Libby, an analyst at marketing-research firm JD Power & Associates told Bloomberg financial news. "If people can wait to buy a car, they'll wait."