October 2008 auto sales were really weak.
BUT, notice that in the month of financial crisis, when doom and gloom reigned supreme, we sold cars at the (seasonally adjusted) annual rate of 10.56 million units. Now that's down about two-thirds from the old average, but it's not nearly as bad as we might have expected. Rumors suggested that retail sales last month consisted of one tube of toothpaste and two rolls of toilet paper. Not true.
The recession is no cake walk, but the most pessimistic views don't make sense. Some people are still spending. The economy is not going to zero.