The mood was set for October's United States sales announcements when General Motors confirmed a new round of incentives shortly before releasing their October figures. Sure enough, the monthly results were not pretty, writes Bill Cawthon. According to Ward's Auto, Americans bought just over 1.3 million light vehicles last month. That's a 27.3% drop from last year's record 1.722 million. The results were anticipated: October 2001 was a tough act to follow. That was a record month for car sales, fuelled by aggressive financing and appeals to patriotism following the September 11 tragedy.