Auto Sales Stronger Than Expected In August

DETROIT (September 3, 2014) Most automakers are reporting stronger-than-expected U.S. sales for August, and Chrysler and Nissan led the way with double-digit increases.

Toyota reported that sales were up 6 percent.

Chrysler's sales leaped 20 percent as the Jeep brand led the automaker to its best August in a dozen years.

Nissan reported nearly a 12 percent increase.

Ford and General Motors exceeded analysts' expectations, although Ford sales rose just 0.4 percent, and GM posted a 1.2 percent decrease.

GM's sales appear to be holding up despite safety recalls involving 29 million vehicles for a variety of problems.

Volkswagen continues to struggle.

Sales are off almost 13 percent from a year ago.

Trucks and crossover SUVs led most automakers, continuing a trend away from cars.

Crossover SUVs generally are built on car underpinnings, so they're more efficient and maneuverable than the older truck-based SUVs.

Many get more than 30 miles per gallon on the highway.

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