The industry seems to be embracing its doom.Auto Sales for August Jumped 20%, Despite Rising Price of Gashttp://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/05/business/august-us-car-sales.html?_r=3&hpIn the past, nothing slowed down strong car sales faster than a spike in gasoline prices.But these days, consumers simply switch to more fuel-efficient models.Major automakers reported Tuesday that sales grew 19.9 percent in August despite higher gas prices during the month.Analysts said the wide range of fuel-efficient models on the market, particularly new small cars from the Detroit automakers, had helped spur demand and accelerate the industry’s recovery....So far this year, auto sales in the United States have increased 14.7 percent over the same period in 2011. The industry sold 1.28 million vehicles in August, bringing the total for the year to 9.71 million....General Motors, the nation’s largest automaker, said its United States sales grew 10.1 percent, to 240,000 vehicles, in August. The increase was driven by a strong performance by its Chevrolet passenger cars, particularly the new Sonic subcompact model and the even-smaller Spark minicar that G.M. builds in Korea.G.M. also reported one of its best sales months ever for the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid. The company said it sold 2,800 Volts during August, compared with 300 a year earlier.“Although trucks had a solid month, the small-car performance is what’s most impressive about G.M.’s numbers today,” said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst with the automotive research site Edmunds.com.The Ford Motor Company said its August sales increased 12.6 percent, to 196,000 vehicles. It reported its biggest gains in the Focus compact car and the new Escape, its smallest sport utility vehicle.Focus sales were up 35 percent compared with the same period a year earlier, and Escape sales rose 36 percent....The overall strength of the American market prompted Ford to announce it will build 725,000 vehicles in North America during the fourth quarter, a 7 percent increase from the same period a year earlier.
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