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Auto sales again beat expectations in August

Posted on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at 9:03:30 AM

Did you think the U.S. auto sales boom would slow? Think again. 

Consumers continue to seek auto financing and purchase vehicles - mostly SUVs, pickups and other such vehicles - at an astounding rate. Despite shaky stock markets in August, auto sales beat expectations once again, climbing to an annualized selling rate of 17.8 million vehicles in August, according to Reuters. Estimates for the month were around 17.3 million. While Toyota, Honda, Nissan and GM all reported declines, the drops were not as significant as expected.

"All of the economic fundamentals that we look at, including job growth, disposable income and fuel prices, are in good shape and that should keep sales strong," Kurt McNeil, head of U.S. sales for General Motors Co., told Reuters. 

Declines can be largely attributed to a quirk in this year's calendar that moved Labor Day to September, rather than August. Though the holiday weekend always falls in the former month, it is typically moved to August for the purpose of calculating monthly auto sales.

Vehicle sales aren't expected to slow as 2015 enters its second act, either. Mark LaNeve, Ford's U.S. sales chief, told the Wall Street Journal that he is "very, very bullish on the back half of the year," in part due to historically strong showings in September and December.