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Auto Sales Rise 20% in August

Auto Sales Rise 20% in August

By Jeff Youngs, September 05, 2012
U.S. consumers in August continued to buy vehicles at the fastest pace in the past 3 years, with dealers selling 20% more new vehicles than during the same month in 2011. The increase in sales pushed the 2012 seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) to 14.5 million units, slightly higher than the most recent forecast by J.D. Power and Associates and LMC Automotive, and nearly matching the SAAR during August of 2009, when the government's Cash for Clunkers program bolstered sales during the recession.

Highlights from August's sales rally include:

  • American Honda and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. continued their recovery following last year's crippling earthquake in Japan, with year-over-year sales increases of 59.5% and 45.6%, respectively.
  • Volkswagen continued to attract buyers, posting an August sales gain of 62.5%.
  • Sales in the full-size pickup segment were up 16% in August, with all models experiencing gains except the Nissan Titan.
  • The following luxury brands achieved sales increases of more than 25% each: Acura, Bentley, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Lexus, and Porsche.
  • BMW sales were down 19%, compared to last year. Other brands losing, rather than gaining, sales included Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Suzuki.

Additionally, Automotive News reports that 79.9% of all vehicles sold in August were built in North America, in assembly plants located in Canada, Mexico or the United States. That figure is up from 78.2% at the same time last year.

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