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Pickup sales spur strong August gains for automakers

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press

GM reports 15% rise; Ford and Chrysler at 12%.

Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 7:21 am

DETROIT – General Motors Co. says its August U.S. sales rose nearly 15 percent on big gains in full-size pickups and tiny cars.

GM says it sold almost 276,000 cars and trucks last month.

Nearly all automakers are reporting double-digit sales gains as August shapes up to be another strong month for the industry. Ford and Chrysler reported 12 percent increases, while Toyota was up 23 percent.

All major automakers report August numbers Wednesday.

Sales of GM's top-selling Chevy Silverado pickup were up nearly 14 percent, while sales of the Chevy Sonic subcompact rose almost 31 percent.

Cadillac brand sales were up nearly 38 percent, aided by new models. Buick sales were up 37 percent.

Here's more:

Chrysler: It credits strong truck sales that pushed the company to its best August in six years.

The automaker sold nearly 166,000 cars and trucks last month. Sales of its best-selling Ram pickup rose 31 percent.

Chrysler predicts that total U.S. sales will run at an annual rate of 16.1 million, a pace last seen before the Great Recession.

Industry analysts say August could be the best month since May 2007, when $3-a-gallon gasoline set off panic buying of fuel-thrifty vehicles.

Ford: Its increased was led by strong demand for the F-Series pickup as well as small cars.

F-Series sales rose 22 percent to 71,115. It was the second month this year that F-Series sales topped 70,000; the first time was in May. Ford hasn't sold more than 70,000 F-Series trucks in two separate months in the same year since 2006.

Small-car sales were strong, too. Ford's recently redesigned Fiesta subcompact saw sales jump 61 percent, while the C-Max hybrid was up 44 percent.

Sales of Lincoln's new MKZ sedan were up 10 percent.

Ford said it will increase North American production by 7 percent in the fourth quarter, to 785,000 vehicles.

Third-quarter production remains unchanged at 740,000.