Last year Hurricanes Katrina and Rita knocked the wind right out of automakers' sails, who were enjoying three months of healthy summer sales fueled by big incentives and employee pricing. From August through October of last year, however, sales were down 21 percent at GM, 13 percent at Ford and up only 2.1 percent at DaimlerChrysler, the Detroit Free Press reports. Because of this extended period of sales depression, the results this year for the next few months may look rosy in comparison. At the same time, some analysts caution if sales remain flat in the coming months compared with last year that it will focus the spotlight even further on the poor sales performances of GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler.

We will know by the end of the week how each has fared, as automakers will be releasing their sales figures for August on Friday. We'll round them up for you, of course, in our By The Numbers series of posts.

[Source: The Detroit Free Press]