GM, Ford And Chrysler Post Double-Digit Increases

Pickup trucks sold briskly last month which is good for the bottom line of Detroit's Big Three. One analyst says "the success of the truck segment is usually seen as the harbinger of the overall economy recovery."

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a jump in auto sales.

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GREENE: Pickup trucks sold briskly in the month of August - and that is good for the bottom line of Detroit's Big Three automakers.

As NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports, it also suggests some other businesses are feeling more confident.

WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: The sale of full size pickups jumped 16 percent - part of a strong month for the auto industry overall. GM, Ford and Chrysler all posted double digit sales increases - compared to August of last year.

But, as industry analyst Jesse Toprak, of TrueCar.com suggests, its truck sales that are particularly noteworthy.

JESSE TOPRAK: The success of the truck segment is usually seen as the harbinger of the overall economy recovery.

KAUFMAN: Trucks such as Ford's F series and Chrysler Rams are used extensively in construction and home building - and the small businesses that typically buy them - don't do so on a whim.

As a senior economist at Ford put it, the recovery in the housing sector is continuing to support full size pick up sales. Pent up demand also a factor. The average vehicle on the road is now more than a decade old.

Wendy Kaufman, NPR News.

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