U.S. Auto Sales Drop 15.5% in August

Falling gasoline prices didn’t seem to help automakers avert the downturn as U.S. light vehicle sales plunged for a tenth consecutive month in August. Overall sales for the month were 1.25 million vehicles, down a hefty 15.5 percent from August 2007 while for the first eight months of the year, sales are down 11.2 percent to 9.8 million vehicles, according to Autodata Corp.

Among the mainstream automakers, Chrysler LLC took the worst beating as it sold 110,235 vehicles, down 34 percent compared to last August. From the beginning of the year, Chrysler LLC’s sales have fallen 24 percent. GM’s August sales tumbled 20.4 percent to 308,817 units and are down 18.1 percent for the year to date compared to 2007. Same goes for Ford that sold 155,690 vehicles in August, down 26.6 percent, while year to date sales have slipped 15.8 percent compared to 2007. -Continued

Toyota didn’t do very well either as the Japanese reported August sales of 211,533 vehicles, a decrease of 9.4 percent from last August while for the first eight months of the year, Toyota’s sales have fallen 7.8 percent.

Among the big players in the U.S. market, only the Nissan group managed to show growth with August 2008 sales of 108,493 units versus 95,527 units a year ago, an increase of 13.6 percent. From the beginning of the year, the Nissan group’s sales are up 1.0 percent.