Ford and Honda sales vault on clunker deals; GM down 20%, Chrysler down 15.4%

AUGUST U.S. SALES
Ford and Honda sales vault on clunker deals; GM down 20%, Chrysler down 15.4%
Largest boost in Ford sales since July 2005
Chrissie Thompson
Ford Motor Co. and American Honda posted August U.S. sales increases, while Chrysler Group’s and General Motors’ declines were worse than the previous month, as the government’s cash-for-clunkers program lifted industry demand to its highest levels this year.
Honda’s light-vehicle sales increased 9.9 percent, their biggest year-over-year monthly lift since Mary 2008. Ford’s light-vehicle sales rose 17.2 percent, for their largest boost since July 2005. The gain follows Ford’s 2.4 percent increase in July, which was its first year-over-year growth in 19 months.
GM saw a 20.1 percent slide, compared with the 19.4 percent its sales dropped in July. Chrysler’s sales fell 15.4 percent, worse than the 9.4 percent they slipped the previous month.
The results were worse than analysts’ forecasts, but enough to sustain industry predictions that sales would pass the 1-million-unit mark for the first time since August 2008.
“August was a shot in the arm for the industry,” said John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, in a statement. His brand’s August sales shot up 47.0 percent.
Elsewhere in the industry, Subaru’s sales spiked by 51.5 percent. That put its eight-month sales 11.2 percent higher than last year, making it the only automaker reporting a year-to-date U.S. sales increase.
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