Automakers Report Mixed Sales Results

The “cash for clunkers” program delivered mixed results for U.S. auto sales in August:

» Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) reported a 17% monthly sales gain on Tuesday. It is the company’s second U.S. sales increase in nearly two years, making Ford one of the only manufacturers to post back-to-back sales increases.

“Ford’s leadership in quality, fuel-efficiency, safety and technology all are resonating with consumers, and it is being reflected in our sales results,” said in a statement Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service.

Ford said it gained retail market share in 10 of the last 11 months.

» Meanwhile, low supplies of fuel-efficient vehicles at Chrysler kept the auto maker from benefiting more from the clunkers program. The co. reported a 15% drop in its year-over-year August U.S. sales. Chrysler said it sold 93,222 vehicles last month compared with 110,235 in August 2008.

» General Motors Co., the largest U.S.-based car maker, also posted a drop in its sales. The co. said its light-vehicle sales in North America fell 20% from August 2008 to 245,550.

» Nissan Motor Co. (OTC:NSANY) saw its North American sales fall to 105,312 vehicles from 108,493, or 2.9%, last year in August.

» Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) reported positive August U.S. sales. The co. said it sold 225,088 cars and trucks, up 6.4% from 211,533 vehicles a year ago.

» Honda Motor Co. (NYSE:HMC) saw its August U.S. sales rise 9.9% to 161,439 units from 146,855 a year ago.

» Volkswagen AG reported August U.S. sales of 24,823 vehicles, up 11.4% over August 2008, and BMW said its total U.S. August sales fell 21.3% to 24,343 vehicles from 30,931 a year ago.

» Kia Motors Corp. on the other hand reported solid gains. The co. said its U.S. August sales jumped 60.4% to 40,198 vehicles from 25,065 a year ago. Sales of the Kia Sportage more than doubled to 7,558 units from 2,845 a year ago.

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