What a weird month. We were told a week or so ago that sales for the month of August might look artificially good compared to last year because of Hurricane Katrina's negative impact on sales. Really, however, Katrina didn't hit land until August 29th, so if next month is the greatest month ever for car sales, we'll know why.

Still, credit goes to GM for breaking even in sales this month. Out of the General's entire portfolio of brands sold in North America, only Buick, Isuzu and Pontiac were down. Meanwhile, Ford's entire portfolio failed to exceed last August's sales, missing the target by 11.6% as a group. Jaguar in particular was the Biggest Loser of the month, falling behind 35.3% compared to last August. Chrysler as a whole dropped 8% last month. The Chrysler brand, however, grew its sales 3% in August, which was completely mitigated by Dodge falling 15% behind its performance last year.

Perhaps the two biggest surprises were the weak performances of BMW and Honda. The BMW Group attracted 11% fewer sales this year than last. Honda and Acura both experienced a sales decline, as well, and managed to generate sales 6.7% fewer than this time last year.

The two big winners last month were most definitely Suzuki and Toyota. Suzuki has not only maintained, but increased the rate at which its sales are growing. In July its sales grew 13% and this month they went up by 16%. We see no reason why Suzuki wouldn't reach its goal of 100,000 sales in the U.S. this year considering after eight months it has already sold 73,388 units. And finally we come to Toyota, which somehow managed to increase its August sales over last year by 13.6%, which is no small feat when as a brand you're selling over 200,000 units every month.

And for those who are interested in these kinds of things, no, Toyota did not sell more than Ford in August. In fact, as a brand Ford sold for more than any other on the market last month. Toyota did, however, come within 2,000 units of selling more than Chevrolet last month, which likely would have made as big a story as Toyota outselling Ford last month.

Biggest Winner
Suzuki 16% at 8,399

Biggest Loser
Jaguar –35.3% at 1,704

BRANDS
Acura –8.5% at 18,263 (August 2005: 19,221)
BMW –12% at 22,421 (August 2005: 25,537)
Buick –4.7% at 22,853 (August 2005: 23,094)
Cadillac 0.2% at 20,036 (August 2005: 19,262)
Chevrolet 1.3% at 210,860 (August 2005: 200,393)
Chrysler 3% at 47,132 (August 2005: 44,279)
Dodge –15% at 89,790 (August 2005: 102,147)
Ford –11.6% at 214,759 (August 2005: 242,849)
GMC 6.1% at 42,262 (August 2005: 38,349)
Honda –6.5% at 132,990 (August 2005: 136,952)
HUMMER 1.5% at 6,711 (August 2005: 6,367)
Hyundai 2% at 44,635 (August 2005: 42,113)
Infiniti –26.4% at 9,429 (August 2005: 12,339)
Isuzu –13.4% at 1,125 (August 2005: 1,251)
Jaguar –35.3% at 1,704 (August 2005: 2,634)
Jeep 0.0% at 42,243 (August 2005: 40,659)
Kia 5.4% at 25,114 (August 2005: 23,820)
Land Rover –19.4% at 3,671 (August 2005: 4,554)
Lexus 6.4% at 31,074 (August 2005: 28,125)
Lincoln –9.5% at 8,979 (August 2005: 9,918)
Mazda 0.8% at 22,311 (August 2005: 22,135)
Mercedes 6.9% at 20,602 (August 2005: 19,272)
Mercury –12.7% at 15,417 (August 2005: 17,668)
MINI –11% at 3,252 (August 2005: 3,342)
Mitsubishi 3.7% at 10,954 (August 2005: 10,945)
Nissan –3.2% at 80,419 (August 2005: 80,026)
Pontiac –12.1% at 39,711 (August 2005: 43,483)
Porsche –12% at 2,554 (August 2005: 2,894)
Saab 11.9% at 3,168 (August 2005: 2,726)
Saturn 5.3% at 22,050 (August 2005: 20,162)
Subaru 2% at 17,809 (August 2005: 17,426)
Suzuki 16% at 8,399 (August 2005: 7,126)
Toyota 13.6% at 209,104 (August 2005: 177,237)
Volkswagen 1.5% at 23,420 (August 2005: 23,083)
Volvo –2.1% at 10,582 (August 2005: 10,806)

TBA
Audi

COMPANIES
BMW Group –11% at 25,763 (August 2005: 28,879)
Chrysler Group –8% at 179,165 (August 2005: 187,085)
Ford Motor Co –11.6% at 255,112 (August 2005: 288,429)
General Motors 0.0% at 368,776 (August 2005: 355,180)
Honda America –6.7% at 151,253 (August 2005: 156,173)
Nissan North America –6.3% at 89,848 (August 2005: 92,365)
Toyota Motor Co. 12.6% at 240,178 (August 2005: 205,362)

Editors note: most percentages are reported as the change in daily sales rate (DSR) since there were 27 selling days in August 2006 versus 26 selling days in August 2005. We found many automakers had averaged out the amount of vehicles sold per day in July of both years and used that figure to calculate the percentage of loss or gain year-over-year.