The sharp increase in oil prices, and now the credit crunch, has led to sales of large cars and people-carriers falling by 30% in Europe. SUV sales have fallen by 45%.
The industry giants have responded to the crisis with massive layoffs. Volkswagen, for example, has announced 25,000 job losses; Rolls Royce, Peugeot and Chrysler are also making swingeing cuts. The first instinct of most socialists will be to defend workers' jobs; that instinct is correct,