US Auto Sales: GM, Vw sales up in August image

Despite confidence sank and prospects dimmed for faster economic growth August car sales of General Motors and Germany’s Volkswagen are strong.

General Motors Co. (GM) said U.S. sales rose 18 percent in August, beating analysts’ estimates, as the Chevrolet Cruze gained share from Japanese competitors still strapped for inventory. Deliveries during the month rose to 218,479 vehicles from 185,176 a year earlier, Detroit-based GM said today in an e- mailed statement.

“Our balanced portfolio of trucks and fuel-efficient vehicles like theChevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain are helping GM continue to gain market share, which has now increased in seven of the past eight months,” said Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations.

Equinox sales rose 58 percent compared with August 2010.

GM typically tries to keep enough cars at dealerships to last about two months. That 60-day supply ensures that shoppers will have wide selections of colors and options. In January and February, Cruze inventories were at about that level, but by March, supplies fell to about 42 days worth of cars, Zapotechne said.

Volkswagen, aggressively trying to boost U.S. sales, said its August tally was 10% better than last year’s, lead by the recently redesigned and lower-price Jetta compact sedan. Year to date, the German automaker with a production plant in Chattanooga has posted a 20.7 increase. Jetta sedan sales last month were 55.5 percent higher over August 2010, the company said.

Other automakers may not fare as well. Analysts predict that car and truck sales slowed in last month because of fewer discounts, worries about the economy and Hurricane Irene, which closed showrooms in the huge East Coast market.