Make us your home page

August car sales accelerate

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Chrysler Group, Ford and General Motors said Tuesday that U.S. sales in August rose more than analysts estimated as new models such as the Dodge Dart and Ford Escape bolster the market's best year since 2007.

Chrysler deliveries last month increased 14 percent from a year earlier, the company said. Ford's sales rose 13 percent and GM's climbed 10 percent. The automakers topped 10 analysts' average estimates of 9.9 percent for Chrysler, 8.5 percent for Ford and 3 percent for GM. Honda and Toyota deliveries surged 60 percent and 46 percent to also beat estimates.

The stronger-than-expected results from the five biggest sellers of cars and light trucks in the United States reflect continuing strength in the one sector of the economy that has held up as the recovery stumbles. The industry's rebound has spurred hiring at automobile assembly plants and helped lower Michigan's unemployment rate closer to the national average.

"This is an affirmation that the automotive market is strong," said Alan Baum, principal of auto-industry forecaster Baum & Associates in West Bloomfield, Mich.

Nissan said sales rose 7.6 percent, missing analysts' average estimate for a 12 percent increase.

Chrysler, the automaker controlled by Fiat, said deliveries of the Dart almost quadrupled from a month earlier to 3,045, helping extend its streak of U.S. sales gains to 29 months. Chief executive Sergio Marchionne is counting on a steady climb in demand for the Dart, introduced in June, as Chrysler continues to update its lineup.

"We expect Chrysler to continue to gobble up incremental share in the compact-car segment," said Alec Gutierrez, an analyst at auto market researcher Kelley Blue Book.

Ford, which just introduced a new Escape small sport utility vehicle, said sales of the model rose 37 percent to 28,188. Deliveries of F-series pickups climbed 19 percent to 58,201.

U.S. auto sales are on pace to exceed 14 million, for the industry's best total since 2007 and gain by at least 10 percent for the third straight year. That's the first such streak since 1973.

Major automakers' percentage U.S. sales change in August, compared with August 2011:











General Motors




August car sales accelerate 09/04/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 8:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Bloomberg News.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Appointments at the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA and the Straz Center highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers



    The Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA has named Matt Mitchell its new chief executive officer, effective Oct. 16. Selected by the Y's CEO Search Committee following a five-month search, Mitchell will succeed Tom Looby, who is retiring. Looby has served the Y Movement for 37 years, the past 10 …

    The Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA has named Matt Mitchell as its new Chief Executive Officer. [Handout photo]
  2. Rep. Larry Ahern gets roughed up by Clearwater City Council

    State Roundup

    It seemed innocuous enough: an "end of session report" from state Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, to the Clearwater City Council.

    Then Ahern got taken to the woodshed.

    Rep. Larry Ahern is vying for a seat on the Pinellas commission.
  3. There's a bar in Tampa where you can roller skate and eat sushi

    Food & Dining

    Roller skating, it's not just for kids birthday parties and the 1970s anymore.

    The exterior of Pattinis features this mural by Art Aliens! [Pattinis South Tampa via Facebook]
  4. Lockdown: Florida's 97,000 prison inmates confined through weekend

    State Roundup

    All of Florida's 97,000 state prison inmates are on lockdown — and will remain confined to their dorms at least through the weekend — in response to unspecified threats about possible uprisings, officials from the Florida Department of Corrections confirmed Thursday.

    Blackwater River Correctional Facility. [Florida Department of Corrections]
  5. Carnival announces five more cruises from Tampa to Cuba


    TAMPA — Carnival Cruise Line is adding five more cruises from Tampa to Cuba in 2018, Port Tampa Bay announced Thursday.

      Carnival Cruise Line announced additional cruises to  Cuba. Pictured is its Paradise cruise ship departing on its inaugural voyage to Cuba from Tampa. | [MONICA HERNDON | Times]