August Heats Up with Record-Breaking Sales

August 2015 was a hot month as far as auto sales go, boasting the highest sales pace since July 2005. According to Autodata, some notable performance increases included Fiat Chrysler sales increased 1.7 percent and Ford sales increased an astonishing 5.4 percent. Toyota sales of 1.6 million were up half a percent from a year ago, coming in at 17.8 million units, compared with 17.3 million a year ago.

“Customer demand for our newest vehicles made August a strong month for Ford,” said Mark LaNeve, Ford’s head of U.S. marketing, sales and service. “Improved availability helped make August the strongest sales month this year for F-Series. We also had our best month of Ford SUV sales in 12 years. I’m very bullish on the back half of the year. September is expected to be robust and December is always a strong month, especially for trucks.”

Manufacturers that rely more heavily upon car sales than trucks reported some of the bigger sales declines, including Toyota, Volkswagen and Honda.

“Cars remain the big challenge,” said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst with AutoTrader, noting even big incentives like Labor Day are not spurring their sales in the current market where trucks and crossovers are in high demand.

Despite challenges, the Lincoln brand was up by six percent, Hyundai by three percent and Nissan by one percent.

August has earned its reputation as a clearance month for new cars. In an effort to make room for new model-year inventory, many dealerships offer lower prices on the current year’s models. Additionally, consumers can potentially save even more by purchasing at the end of August, a time when dealers may be willing to offer extra incentives to reach their quotas and wrap up the month on a high note.

“Now is a good time to buy a vehicle,” said Yong Yang, Ford’s senior U.S. Economics. We couldn’t agree more.

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