Automakers tally double digit sales gains in August

Sep 4, 2013

August was a good month for U.S. automakers.

Nearly all automakers are reporting double-digit sales gains as August shapes up to be another strong month for the industry.

General Motors Co. says its August U.S. sales rose nearly 15% percent on big gains in full-size pickup trucks and tiny cars.  Ford and Chrysler reported 12% increases, while Toyota was up 23%. All major automakers report August numbers on Wednesday.

GM says it sold almost 276,000 cars and trucks last month.

Sales of GM's top-selling Chevy Silverado pickup were up nearly 14%, while sales of the Chevy Sonic subcompact rose almost 31 percent.

Cadillac brand sales were up nearly 38%, aided by new models. Buick sales were up 37%.

Ford's F-Series sales rose 22% to 71,115. It was the second month this year that F-Series sales topped 70,000; the first time was in May. Ford hasn't sold more than 70,000 F-Series trucks in two separate months in the same year since 2006.

Small car sales were strong, too. Ford's recently redesigned Fiesta subcompact saw sales jump 61%, while the C-Max hybrid was up 44%.

Sales of Lincoln's new MKZ sedan were up 10%.

Ford said it will increase North American production by 7% in the fourth quarter, to 785,000 vehicles. Third-quarter production remains unchanged at 740,000.

Chrysler says it sold almost 166,000 cars and trucks last month.

The company predicts that total U.S. sales will run at an annual rate of 16.1 million. That could make August the auto industry's best month since May of 2007, before the Great Recession.

For Chrysler, the Ram pickup had its best August since 2006, with sales up 31%. Jeep brand sales rose 8%. Grand Cherokee SUV sales were up 40%.

August was the 41st-straight month of year-over-year sales gains for Chrysler.

All automakers report sales numbers Wednesday. Analysts expect total sales to rise about 12% from a year ago.