Automaker’s Sales Above Analysts’ Estimates image

Chrysler, Ford, Toyota, Honda and GM reached August sales over analysts’ estimates.

Due to new models such as the Ford Escape, the Dodge Dart and the Chevrolet Spark, auto sales last month reached the fastest pace from 2009’s government “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,” said Jeremy Anwyl, vice chairman of auto-market researcher Edmunds.com.

Auto sales in the US are about to reach 14 million vehicles, which will make 2012 the best year since 2007 and a 10% gain for the 3rd straight year, the first such streak since 1973. Toyota and Honda have already begun hiring new workers at their plants in Alabama and Michigan, as they are about to break the 2007 record for North America output.

GM has already added thirds shifts in four states, creating 4,300 jobs, and Nissan, Chrysler and Kia have also announced their plans to increase production beyond the usual two-shift day in at least 15 factories. Since July the unemployment rate in Michigan has decreased to 9%, from a 26-year high of 14.2% reached in August 2009. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the unemployment rate in the US in July was 8.3%.