UK sales tumble, global car business hits brick wall

Buckle up: October's UK car sales fall at the fastest rate for 17 years, as Toyota's profits slide 69%...

The combined efforts of the nation’s Arfur Daleys only managed to shift 128,352 new cars in Oct, 23% down on the previous month’s already grim figures. Hefty discounts and incentives have failed to boost activity, since potential buyers either cannot get credit terms or are hanging onto their precious cash and driving the old jalopy for a another year or two. The prognosis for both car dealers and factories like Nissan’s in Sunderland and Honda’s in Swindon is thus looking pretty dour.

But Toyota’s surprise Q3 profit collapse – and slashing of its forecast for 2008 by more than half, down to 559bn Yen - is perhaps the worst news of all from the industry. When even the biggest and most efficient car maker in the world can’t manoeuvre itself out of trouble, what chance does anyone else have?

BMW – another car industry success story of recent years, whose impeccable blue-and-white brand is amongst the most prestigious in the world  – is also in bother, posting an almost as bad 63% Q3 fall in profit. In fact it’s hard to think of a major motor manufacturer that isn’t bracing itself for a very bumpy ride, indeed. Gentlemen, arm your airbags.

Sign in to continue

Sign in

Trouble signing in?

Reset password: Click here


Call: 020 8267 8121



  • Up to 3 free articles every 90 days
  • Free email bulletins

Register Now

Take a free trial

Get 30 days unrestricted access to:

  • All the latest news, trends, and developments.
  • Exclusive interviews with CEOs and thought-leaders
  • MT Classroom - giving you an academic grounding without expensive courses
  • Management Matters and other in-depth content.
  • Daily bulletins straight to your inbox

Take a free trial today