Automakers report sales up double-digits in August


DETROIT (AP) — The major U.S. and Japanese automakers all posted double-digit U.S. sales gains last month as car buyers snapped up pickup trucks and small cars to lead the industry toward its best month in six years.

Honda, which makes several of its models in Ohio, reported the biggest gain with sales up almost 27 percent over August of last year. Toyota sales rose nearly 23 percent, while Nissan was up 22 percent. At General Motors, sales were up almost 15 percent for the company’s best month since September of 2008. Chrysler and Ford each reported 12 percent gains.

Sales in August ran at an annual rate of 16.1 million cars and trucks, a pace not seen since November of 2007, a month before the start of the Great Recession.

Mustafa Mohatarem, GM’s chief economist, predicted that rate of sales is here to stay. History, he said, shows that auto sales follow a trend, and that trend is now back above pre-recession levels.

The average age of a vehicle on U.S. roads today is a record 11.4 years according to the Polk research firm. That means more people have to replace cars and trucks that they kept through the recession.

While GM didn’t officially raise its sales forecast for the year from 15.5 million, Mohatarem said he expects the year to end with sales closer to 15.8 million vehicles.

Also, the industry is on better footing than it was in 2007. Prices are high and automakers aren’t resorting to huge discounts to pull customers into showrooms, Mohatarem said.

Consumers are spending at record levels to buy loaded-up vehicles, according to the TrueCar.com auto pricing website. The average U.S. vehicle sold for an estimated $31,252 last month, up almost $1,000 over August of last year and $24 higher than the previous record in December of 2012. Five automakers, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Nissan and Volkswagen, all had record-high selling prices last month, according to TrueCar.

Honda’s sales were led by a record month for the popular CR-V. The company sold nearly 35,000 of the crossover SUVs. Toyota sold almost 45,000 Camry midsize cars, up 22 percent from August of last year. The Camry is the top-selling car in the U.S., and sales had been down slightly this year through July.

Ford sold more than 70,000 F-Series pickups last month, the second month this year that sales have topped 70,000 for the nation’s top-selling vehicle. Sales of Chrysler’s Ram pickup rose 31 percent to more than 33,000.

At Chrysler, Jeep sales rose 8 percent for the brand’s best August in 11 years.

At GM, sales rose to nearly 276,000, led by pickups and the Sonic subcompact with sales up 31 percent.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

4 of the best ways to turn your home into a cash cow
4 of the best ways to turn your home into a cash cow

Your house is a large expense with many associated costs like a mortgage payment, insurance, maintenance and more. It provides a roof over your head, of course, but since it usually costs you money each month, why not put it to work for you and earn some cash in the process? The following are four ways your house can make you money: If you're planning...
6 things to know about working for Uber
6 things to know about working for Uber

Uber has been making headlines in recent months for everything from a new CEO to industry regulation. But if you want to work as a driver for the service that revolutionized the taxi-transport industry, there is more important information about Uber you'll want to check out. Here are six things you need to know about Uber before working for them...
Hatch to Sherrod Brown: ‘Don’t spew this stuff at me’
Hatch to Sherrod Brown: ‘Don’t spew this stuff at me’

Sen. Sherrod Brown and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch are garnering attention today for a yelling match they had last night at a hearing over the tax reform bill working its way through the Senate. Hatch, a Utah Republican, took umbrage at comments by Brown saying the tax bill will help the rich at the expense of the poor. &ldquo...
Elder-Beerman parent company to close 40 stores
Elder-Beerman parent company to close 40 stores

Bon-Ton Stores Inc., the parent company of Elder-Beerman, will close at least 40 stores by the end of 2018. The retailer will shutter about a sixth of its 260 department stores, furniture galleries and clearance centers. The chain has Elder-Beerman stores at the Dayton Mall, Mall at Fairfield Common and several others at Dayton area locations...
Jeweler offering same-day delivery in Dayton, Cincinnati
Jeweler offering same-day delivery in Dayton, Cincinnati

James Free Jewelers is offering same-day delivery service in select areas throughout Southwest Ohio. The jewelry company has upgraded its website to offer customers the ability to schedule appointments with jewelry experts for private jewelry showings or via video. Customers can also now chat online with a James Free representative. “Imagine...
More Stories