U.S. auto sales were on a pace to show a gain as high as 17 percent in August as the industry raced toward its strongest month since just before the start of the 2007-2009 recession.
Last month's sales will top 16 million vehicles on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, several automakers said, which would be the first time U.S. sales topped that level since November 2007. It also marks stronger sales than expected, with nearly all automakers on Wednesday reporting double-digit sales gains for the month.
Sales at General Motors increased 14.7 percent on big gains in full-size pickup trucks and tiny cars. GM said it sold almost 276,000 cars and trucks last month.
Ford likewise saw strong demand for the F-Series pickup, with sales up 22 percent to 71,115, as well as small cars. Its recently redesigned Fiesta subcompact saw sales jump 61 percent, while the C-Max hybrid was up 44 percent.