Best August for Auto Sales Since 2007 image

August was the best month for auto sales since 2007-2009, when the recession began.

Automakers reported auto sales up 20% compared to last year, due to consumers who decided to change their aging cars for big-ticket items. Japan’s Toyota and Honda reported substantial sales increase continuing their recovery from last year’s natural disasters and Detroit automakers surpassed analysts’ expectations for August.

“The reason for the improvement is that consumers are feeling better about making big-ticket item purchases,” said Jesse Toprak, autos analyst with TrueCar.com.

According to Autodata Corp the total sales for this month reached 1,285,202 vehicles, the best August since 2007, when automakers sold 1.47 million cars in the US. There were two reasons for the August increase: automakers offered their best selection of models and more consumers decided to change their old, aging cars, which brought a better consumer spending in the third quarter compared to the April-June period.

“The weaker consumer spending that we saw in the second quarter was solely related to slower car sales. So the pickup in car sales removes this weakness and it’s a good sign and bodes well for consumer spending in the summer,” said Harm Bandholz, chief U.S. economist at UniCredit Research.