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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 November 2005, 21:07 GMT
GM and Ford continue losing sales
GM sports utility vehicles
America's love affair with the SUV has certainly lost its intensity
General Motors (GM) and Ford, the big two US carmakers, have again reported falling domestic sales, while those of their Japanese rivals continue to rise.

Releasing their figures for October, both GM and Ford saw US sales drop 23%, particularly hit by falling interest in their sports utility vehicles (SUVs).

Both firms have been over-reliant upon thirsty SUVs, sales of which have dropped as petrol prices have risen.

Japan's Honda saw US sales rise 4.2% last month, while Toyota was up 5.2%.

Summer discounts

German-US firm DaimlerChrysler saw its American sales dip 3%, with those at its US-based Chrysler arm down 3%, and sales of its German-based Mercedes-Benz models up just 0.01%.

October wasn't a very good month for anybody
Ford's George Pipas

Paul Ballew, GM's executive director of market and industry analysis, said it was the US car industry's worst month since 1998.

Yet he added that October needed to be viewed in the context of coming after the traditional summer discount season.

"October wasn't a very good month for anybody," said George Pipas, Ford's US sales analysis manager.

"It was pretty much weak from the start and showed little improvement as the weeks progressed."

Nissan was one Japanese carmaker that reported a drop in US sales in October, down 19%.

US sales at South Korea's Hyundai were down 7.7%.

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