George Neill

George Neill
Head of Marketing Strategy and Operations

Chrysler Tops U.S. Carmakers in Best Month Since Clunkers

September 04, 2012

Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Co. (F), General Motors Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda (7267) Motor Co. said U.S. sales in August rose more than analysts estimated as new models such as the Dodge Dart, Ford Escape and Chevrolet Spark built on gains earlier this year. Light-vehicle deliveries last month were at the fastest pace since the government’s 2009 “cash for clunkers” program.

“It just is a story that makes it easier for the president to take credit for what’s happening in the U.S. auto industry,” Jeremy Anwyl, vice chairman of auto-market researcher, said in a telephone interview yesterday. “When you’re dealing with headlines and sound bites, these results add credibility to the statement, ‘Look at the good I did.’”
Republican nominee Mitt Romney has criticized the bailout. His vice presidential choice, Paul Ryan, made it clear that autos will be much-debated in next two months when he cited a shuttered sport-utility vehicle plant as part of Obama’s failures in his acceptance speech. That plant had stopped making GM trucks before Obama became president.

U.S. auto sales are on pace to exceed 14 million vehicles for the best year since 2007 and to gain at least 10 percent for a third-straight year, the first such streak since 1973. The industry’s rebound has spurred hiring at automobile assembly plants from Michigan to Alabama, as Toyota and Honda are both on pace this year to break their 2007 records for North American output.

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