US auto sales remain balanced as the summer ends image

Compared to last year, the U.S. auto sales in August will be about the same, continuing the recovery from the recession that hit the country five years ago.

Analysts expect August sales to be around 1.5 million new vehicles, with a seasonal rate of 16.6 million units. This would mark the sixth straight month with an annualized rate above 16 million, a feat only reached twice in 2013. Even if the sales would be close to equal with those from last year’s August, the annualized rate for the month would still be up as there was one less selling day this year.

This August, dealers cut prices to clear their lots and also to make way for the 2015 car models, while incentives were on track to end the month between $2,700 and $3,000 per vehicle. While auto sales have strengthened to almost pre-recession levels, analysts are still concerned that longer-term loans and increased lending to subprime buyers may be artificially inflating sales.

Chrysler Group LLC and Nissan Motor Co increased their market share in August according to analysts, gaining ground in the face of General Motors, Ford Motor Co and Toyota Motor Corp. The Reuters poll showed GM sales dipping 1.2%, Ford sliding 1.4%, Toyota falling 2.3% and Honda Motor Co off 7.9%. The August sales results and numbers are expected to be revealed later this week.

By Gabriela Florea