Both Audi and Mini managed to increase sales in the US slightly in October, despite the fact that the month was described as 'black October' by one GM sales manager, and 'the worst sales month since the second world war'.

The US market fell 31% to 850,000 units and domestic makes GM and Ford saw sales fall 45% and 30% respectively. The drop in sales is directly attributable to the credit crunch and the fact that car buyers simply cannot get credit for their purchase, or they are holding on to their money at this time of economic uncertainty.

Audi was one of the only brands to register an increase in sales during the month, with sales up 0.3% to 7,433 units. Year-to-date Audi sales were down 3.5% to 73,260 units.

Mini also saw sales increase, with 5,272 units sold during the month, up 56.4% on a year ago.

The BMW brand did not to do so well with sales down 13.9% in October, giving the BMW group a negative overall result of -5%. Volkswagen also outperformed the market with sales of 15,880 units, down 7.9% on the same month a year ago.

Other German brands are suffering more. Porsche sales were down 39% to 1,541 units, while Daimler saw sales fall by a quarter to 17,232 units. Daimler's figures would have been worse if it had not been for the introduction of the Smart brand at the beginning of this year. 2,236 Smart cars were sold in October in the US. Mercedes-Benz brand sales were down 34.3% to 14,996 units during the month.