American car and truck sales posted a big increase in August 2012 as consumers appear to be showing more interest in the automotive market. Chrysler Group LLC, General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. each reported double-digit sales gains in August from a year earlier.
August could turn out to be one of strongest sales months of 2012 as Japanese carmakers posted sizable volume increases — last year's tsunami in Japan depressed production and sales in August 2011.
General Motors' U.S. auto sales rose 10 percent, Chrysler's rose 14 percent, and Ford's results improved 13 percent. Toyota Motor Corp.'s U.S. auto sales increased 46 percent and Honda Motor Co. posted a 60 percent gain.
GM and Chrysler says the industry's annualized sale pace was 14.6 million cars and light trucks. Sales of Ford's FSeries pickups and Chrysler's Ram trucks each increased 19 percent, while GM said its Chevrolet Silverado rose 4% from a year earlier.
GM's overall August sales rose 10 percent to 240,520 cars and light trucks, with the increase led by its Buick brand. Sales of Chevrolet vehicles, the company's largest brand, were up 11 percent and total Buick sales improved 12 percent. Total Cadillac sales grew 11 percent. GMC sales rose 3.7 percent.
Ford U.S. sales rose 13 percent to 196,749 in August. Sales of its Focus compact were up 35 percent to 19,053 vehicles, the company said.
Chrysler, owned by Italy's Fiat SpA, said its sales rose 14 percent last month to 148,472 vehicles for its best August sales since 2007. Fiat posted the biggest increase with sales up 34 percent. Sales of its namesake Chrysler brand were up 25 percent, reflecting a 10 percent rise in Chrysler 200 sales and 65 percent growth for the Chrysler 300.
Honda said it sold 131,321 vehicles, up 60 percent from a year earlier on strong demand for its Civic and Accord cars. Nissan Motor Co. said its U.S. sales rose 8 percent in August to 98,515 cars and light trucks, with its namesake brand up 6 percent and the Infiniti luxury brand rising 24 percent.
Toyota reported it sold 188,520 vehicles in the U.S. last month, up from 129,483 a year earlier and 14 percent above July's total of 164,898.