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Ford August Sales Surge 17%, Toyota Up 10.5%, Chrysler Down 15.4%; GM Up Since July

UPDATED at 2:43 p.m.

Ford said August vehicle sales were up 17 percent compared to August of 2008, juiced by the government's cash-for-clunkers program.

Toyota reported moments ago that its August sales were up 10.5 percent compared to August of last year, as it benefited heavily from the clunkers program, as well.

(Note: The Ticker originally reported that Ford sales were up 21.2 percent in August, but that figure did not include Ford's fleet sales for the month, which were way off. Ford led its sales-figure release with the non-fleet number, obviously, because it's the more favorable one. We call out that sneakiness here.)

General Motors' year-over-year sales numbers were down 20.2 percent, but GM sales soared 30 percent from July to August, thanks to the clunkers program.

Chrysler's August sales slumped, on the other hand, which makes one wonder how bad they would have been without cash-for-clunkers.

Chrysler was down 15.4 percent compared to the same period of last year.

At the same time, Chrysler's August sales were up 5 percent compared to July, so that's something. The company blamed a lack of inventory for slow sales.

Ford vehicles were the only representatives from the Big Three on the list of Top 10 cars purchased under the cash-for-clunkers program, a list dominated by Japanese automakers.

Ford is the only of the Big Three to turn down federal bailout money and to make it through the financial crisis without declaring bankruptcy.

It's worth noting also that in Japan, August auto sales rose for the first time in 13 months on a year-over-year basis.

Other automakers' August results:

-- Hyundai looks like the biggest cash-for-clunkers winner so far. The Korean automaker's August sales surged 47 percent compared to August of 2008.

-- Honda was down 24.8 percent from August of last year but up 19 percent from July of this year, setting a new company record for August.

-- Nissan was down 2.9 percent in August compared to last year.

-- Volkswagen was up 11.4 percent.

-- Daimler was down 10.5 percent.

The rest of the automakers will report their August sales one-by-one the rest of the afternoon. Check back to find your favorite.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  September 1, 2009; 2:43 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Ford, auto sales, cash for clunkers  
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Next: Report: Aug. Employment Drop Smallest Since Sept. 2008


Made a reality check on the State-wide FORD storage lot in Wiscasset, Maine.

Wasn't edge to edge as it usually was; but vehicles were spread out a bit more and there were plenty of empty rows; few trucks, many more large cars. Didn't see any Focuses, which was a hot trade in car.

Guessing they moved a few hundred vehicles over the past few months; but the question is will they 'restock' them with ones that match the ones that they got clunkers for or will they go back to biz. as usual?

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | September 1, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Gee, let's see here . . . two companies are run by "The Messiah" and his Chicago thugs and one isn't. Which two companies are losing money again? Oh, right, the government run auto makers.

Posted by: xcannons | September 1, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I guess the water into wine thing got democrats and republicans drunk with power and they brought the monster that ate the nation's economic health back to life. Death of a monster is not a bad thing. Keeping a monster that eats the nation is bad.

Posted by: browncow | September 1, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

xcannons wrote:
"Gee, let's see here . . . two companies are run by "The Messiah" and his Chicago thugs and one isn't. Which two companies are losing money again? Oh, right, the government run auto makers."

How quickly do you suppose a giant corporation like a car company can be turned around? How long do you suppose it takes to develop new models and bring them to production? Hint: it's not a couple of months. Any problems GM and Chrysler are currently having are due to events occurring and decisions made before the Obama administration began. And, of course, to the economic downturn, which is not their fault. But if they didn't sell as many cars, due to having fewer desirable models, as Ford, Toyota, etc., that's hardly due to the Obama administration's decisions.

Posted by: yrral | September 1, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

XCannons, you immediately negated any attempt you made to pose a reasonable and logical argument when you referred to Obama as "The Messiah" - anyone who feels the need to resort to petty name-calling automatically discredits their position, whether you're a rightie referring to BHO as "messiah" or a leftie referring to Bush as "Shrub." It's unnecessary, erroneous, and degrades what might be an intelligent discussion to a junior high "I know you are but what am I" level.

I will tell you the real reason Chrysler and GM are still failing after the government bailout, and why they were in dire straits BEFORE the bailout...
They make cars that are generic, low-quality junk, and they make it in great quantities, then foist them on the public with ill-advised 0% APR and lifetime warranty campaigns that move cars but do little to boost profits.

In the interest of full disclosure, I work for a European auto manufacturer with a strong US presence - and we're doing just fine. Not because we took government money (we didn't) but because we make a decent product and we made sound, conservative, stable financial decisions at a time when the Big 3 were practically giving SUV's away to any 19-year-old with a McDonald's paycheck.

XCannons is right on one point - the government should have let the markets dictate who wins and who fails. GM and Chrysler have no reason to be in business unless they seriously revamp their product line and their strategy. What good was bailing them out when no one wants to buy what they're selling?

Posted by: JMGinPDX | September 1, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

By what percentage did this reduce our usage (as a nation) on gasoline?

Posted by: MarkPatro | September 1, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, anti-Obamaists can't pass up a chance to get a lick in, can they?

GM and Chrysler went through BANKRUPTCY this year. Ford didn't. The Ford Focus is a decent car that fits the program. DUH.

Whether GM survives may be up to the gummint. Chrysler is Fiat's problem now. Both would have been parted out by now if the government had not stepped in, all those people would have been out of work, and we'd have ONE domestic auto company left.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 1, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Taxpayers own the two dogs, no surprise.
Obama and his UAW payback, what a sad sad joke. Plus we get to pay for someone elses car ?, what an incredible example why you dont want the fools in Washington taking more of yr tax dollars.

Posted by: snapplecat07 | September 1, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I purchased a Ford just before the 'Cash for Clunkers' took effect. I did so because Ford did not accept federal funds. I considered GM since it was a public company that accepted funds but I never even considered Chrysler (the vehicle I replaced was a Chrysler product) since I cannot accept the bailout of a firm owned by venture capitalists.

Posted by: wguglielmi | September 1, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

When will Team Obama repay the dealers?????

(And they want to take over our health care!!)

Posted by: wheeljc | September 1, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Chicago thugs, Washington bureaucrats, North East liberals... the Right does an amazing job of making the Left look like undead foreign bogeymen. Chicago, Washington and New England, folks, are all AMERICAN. Remove the chip from your shoulder and join the rest of the country.

Posted by: ccs4756 | September 1, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Bozo repos will be up in 6 months when the payments are running late on the cars. Then the dolts will be talking about sending stimulus checks so people can make car payments with cash for idiots programs. Clowns.

Posted by: Dermitt | September 1, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

3 billion wasted

4 of the top 5 cars sold were imports

my car sales friends say the business is dead again

all the clunkers were wasted into junk.
no help for charities, low income hooptee buyers, or used parting out wastes.

Obozo and the democrat social party and their supporters are ruining our country.

Just whose money was the 3 billion given away?

Posted by: charlietuna6661 | September 1, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

chrylser had 2 vehicles that qualified.. the jeep patriot,which is a a plastic mobile, and some other second rate, high repair vehicle.

they ought to just close down

Posted by: newagent99 | September 1, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

"Gee, let's see here . . . two companies are run by "The Messiah" and his Chicago thugs and one isn't. Which two companies are losing money again? Oh, right, the government run auto makers."

Try again. Ford is losing money too. The difference between them and GM and Chrysler is that Ford mortgaged a lot of their assets a couple years ago to build up cash cushion.

Posted by: presto668 | September 1, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Comeback? Nope. Obama is in need of a heart transplant. One where he actually cares about the American people instead of the Wall and corporate swine that have ripped us all off during the Bush years and so far into his new Administration. Where's the end to the H1-B and L-1 visas Mr. Obama? Where is the end to outsourcing? Those were your primary campaign promises, what you were elected to do. I know because I campaign for you, knocked on more than 2,000 doors. I also campaign for Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley and he has sided with you in ignoring us. The Democrat's, once in office, have taken he side of the big banks, corporations, and international "business interests". Well, we wont forget this bit of treachery and we will not forgive.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | September 1, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The Big Problem is OBAMA is the Puppet of Congress. He doesn't have control, and not to sure he hears well, We the people do not want Goverment control of health Ins.
Look at mess in Medicare, Mediaid and
Look at the holes the rich Tax payers have with over sea accounts, The perks the people in Congress have....cut some of those perks and that would pay for the Health care for those who can not get private Health Insurance Clean your own House Mr President!

Posted by: akeegan2 | September 1, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Since I am a low income, under poverty level person with no credit, I won't be able to find an affordable vehicle in how many years, since so many good ones have been effectively removed from the market? This plan will drive up the cost of what would have been a reasonable deal for me to replace my '95 Jimmy. How many others will be affected? Who did this cash cow help? Not me, or any other person who doesn't have enough credit to buy a new car, that's for sure. Stupid deal on the taxpayer dime for people who can already afford a new car. Grand.. just grand.

Posted by: moonlitesonata2 | September 1, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

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