Following the lead of Chrysler, which reported a year-over-year gain of 14% in August sales, Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) and General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) both posted impressive U.S. sales gains in August. Ford reported sales jumped 13% year-over-year in August and GM said sales were up 10%.
At Ford, retail sales rose 19% to more than 197,000 units sold. The company's venerable F-Series pickups sold more than 58,000 units and the compact SUV Escape sold 28,000 units. Retail sales accounted for about 83% of Ford's August sales.
At GM, retail sales rose 11% and total sales rose 10% year-over-year to 240,520 units. Fleet sales rose 6%. GM said sales of Buick models rose 12%, with Cadillac and Chevrolet models both up 11%, and GMC models up 4%.
An economist at GM echoed the now-standard analysis of the sales gains:
People have been holding off new purchases for such a long time, since 2008 until now. Even though the economic news is very mediocre, very slow, and very moderate, we see improvement overall.
New U.S. auto sales now look to be on track for 2012 total sales of 14-14.5 million units.
Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Autos Tagged: F, GM