The Ford Focus helped the U.S. auto industry post healt... The Ford Focus helped the U.S. auto industry post healthy sales numbers (Ford).
August was a very good month for Detroit, as the Motor City automakers all posted impressive double-digit gains even while consumers were spooked by a whipsawed stock market and falling consumer confidence.

Toyota and Honda sales were down, both companies still seeing vehicle shortages stemming from last March's Earthquake in Japan. But Nissan, which jacked up incentives in August and resumed its supply sooner than its rivals, posted a 23% gain on the month.

The industry as a whole posted a healthy 8% gain. But, auto industry analysts have warned that the second half of this year would see a dropoff in auto sales, compared with the first half. The wobbling U.S. economy is still leaving a lot of would-be buyers on the sidelines.

Hurricane Irene was blamed for some loss of sales in August, but not that many. GM, for example, said it reckoned it only lost about 1,000 sales nationwide. Nissan said the storm cost it about 3,300 sales because its dealerships are over represented in the Northeast.

Small cars are surging

GM sold 20,000 Chevy Cruze sedans, it's all-new compact sedan. Ford sold more than 20,000 Fiesta and Focus compact and sub-compact sedans with no help from sales incentives.

A few factors are driving small-car sales for MoTown. Small cars are still in short supply from Honda and Toyota, and consumers who have been in the market for new cars are trading down to less expensive, more fuel efficient models.

General Motors sales were up 18% in August, with healthy gains for GMC, Buick and Chevy. GM's sales and financial performance have been strong this year, buttressing the case for GM's new management. But the share price of the automaker continues to languish, off about one-third from its IPO price ten months ago.

Chrysler continues to impress, posting better than 20% sales gains in each of the last four months despite not having a raft of new models to sell.

Luxury brand sales surged, supporting the argument that those who have jobs and money are willing to spend it. BMW sales were up 15%, while Mercedes-Benz was up 9% and Porsche was up 30%. Lexus, Infiniti and Acura were down, also impacted by a shortage of vehicles due to last March's Hurricane rather than a falloff in consumer demand.


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  • 24 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      maybe someone would give Obama credit for saving them ( doubt it though)
      krs
      • 4 Years Ago
      Watch out, the US auto makers will get greedy. They'll jack up the prices 10-20% thinking they don't have to be competitive, everyone will buy their cars not matter how pricey.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Auto sales are still terrible...they showed a healthy increase over an absolutely terrible year...
      the charnins
      • 4 Years Ago
      do proper maintenance on your car and there is no problem getting one hundred thousand miles on any car foreign or domestic.
      billfrombuckhead
      • 4 Years Ago
      Read it and weep japanese fanbois! Don't count the Americans out! Chrysler has outsold Toyota 3 months out of the last 4 months. Mopar is readying new 31 mpg 8 speed Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300's that get better hwy gas mileage than the new 2012 Camry!
      rudy
      • 4 Years Ago
      snellbd-chrysler is the only good minivan all others are carbon copy junk ,especially imports.
      snellbd
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am looking to buy a new Dodge Caravan or Chrysler mini van this year. This will be the fifth one we have owned and have had no major problems with any of them. We do have out vehicles serviced regularly and yhey have held up well. We have a 2000 Ford ranger with 130.000 miles and have only had to replace brakes and one alternator. The junky Toyota we had (big mistake!!) cost us over two thousand bucks in three years. So much for the Consumers Report flagship!
      rudy
      • 4 Years Ago
      I will ride a sick goat before I drive import junk----I am an American. GM-Ford-Chrysler make the finest vehicles in the world, I wish the big three would lower their prices a little more. Chrysler is smarter than GM and Ford by offering more hp in their vehicles. The old rule-there is no replacement for displacement-more cubes work easier and more efficient. use the techknowledge on small engines for bigger engines.
      rudy
      • 4 Years Ago
      mkspw- yes I did and it out performs anything toyota has in their line up.
        mkspw
        • 4 Years Ago
        @rudy
        Ruby, You are so full of it your eyes are brown
      rudy
      • 4 Years Ago
      mkspw -buying your junk toyotas have cost americans their jobs,their homes and their families. I hope that makes you feel good. by the way toyota had more recalls than all the other auto manufacturers combined in year 2010. enough said!!!!
        mkspw
        • 4 Years Ago
        @rudy
        Toyota is more American than most of the big three. Lots of the big three's cars are made in Canada or Mexico. Oh, I forgot the USA is a part of Mexico.
      furtura1
      • 4 Years Ago
      chrylser cars are junk and the worst cars on the road
        hgeorgech
        • 4 Years Ago
        @furtura1
        Even worse than your '86 Yugo? Seriously, furtura1 .. have you ever driven a 2011-12 ChryCo vehicle? My guess .. NO
      stevendy1
      • 4 Years Ago
      its good for AMERICA, only place that matters
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