DETROIT (AP) — For the U.S. auto industry, the recession is now clearly in the rear-view mirror.
New car sales jumped 17 percent to 1.5 million in August, their
highest level in more than six years. Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Honda,
Chrysler and General Motors all posted double-digit gains over last
The full-year sales pace rose above 16 million for the first time
since November 2007, the month before the Great Recession officially
started. Exuberant automakers said sales will likely remain at that pace
for the rest of this year.
U.S. car and truck sales totaled 16 million in 2007, then plummeted
during the recession. They bottomed out at 10.4 million in 2009 and have
been rising ever since. In August, they seemed to pick up speed. Mohatarem said he expects the year to end with sales closer to 15.8
million vehicles, which is higher than GM's official forecast of 15.5