updated 6/26/2008 4:53:28 PM ET 2008-06-26T20:53:28

Shares of General Motors Corp. plunged Thursday to their lowest price in more than 30 years, as industry observers and investors continued to speculate about just how bad things could get for U.S.-based automakers before they start to get better.

GM’s share price was lately down $1.53, or 11.94 percent, to $11.28.

The last time the Detroit-based automaker’s shares dropped below the $12 mark was on Jan. 2, 1975 when it fell to $11.68, according to the University of Chicago’s Center for Research in Security Prices.

The drop came after A Goldman Sachs analyst cut his rating for GM to “Sell” from “Neutral” and his price target to $11 from $16, saying things could still get worse for the North American automotive industry as a whole.

“We expect GM shares to continue to underperform as market fundamentals deteriorate which exacerbates liquidity concerns,” the investment bank’s Patrick Archambault wrote in a note to investors.

“We think GM’s automotive cash flow burn this year and next is likely to lead it to look to raise capital, which we believe could lead to significant shareholder dilution and/or a cut to the company’s dividend.”

Archambault also cut his ratings for Lear Corp. to “Sell” from “Neutral” and for Tenneco to “Neutral” from “Buy.” Both auto suppliers also set 52-week lows Thursday.

Lear dropped $2.84, or 15.6 percent, to $15.27, easily passing its previous low mark of $16.98. Tenneco shares fell $1.15, or 7.1 percent, to $15.09 after falling as low as $14.89, moving past their previous low of $15.92.

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