Ford, GM, Chrysler post August sales gains

DETROIT (AP) - Americans have been buying a lot of pickups -- and that helped fuel a big overall jump in U.S. auto sales last month.

GM's August sales rose 10 percent from a year earlier. Ford's rose 13 percent, and Chrysler saw a 14-percent increase.

Americans were drawn into dealer showrooms by model-year closeouts, low-interest financing and some appealing new models.

Pickups are traditionally the top sellers in the U.S., and they drove much of the business -- thanks in part to a recovering housing market.

Sales of Ford's F-Series trucks rose 19 percent, while Chrysler's Ram jumped by the same.

GM's pickups, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, saw a 6-percent sales increase.

A GM economist says the overall increase was due mainly to pent-up demand, as consumers and businesses were forced to replace aging cars and pickup trucks.

Honda -- whose factories were hobbled last year by the earthquake in Japan -- reported a 60 percent increase over last August, led by the Civic compact, the CR-V and the Accord.

Volkswagen continued its staggering growth, with sales jumping 63 percent on strong demand for the Jetta and the Passat.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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