Md. new-car sales up 2.6% for August, twice U.S. gain But auto dealers sold five used vehicles for every three new ones

Automobiles

October 01, 1997|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF

Maryland new-car dealers ended a three-month sales slump by posting a 2.6 percent jump in deliveries during August, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration reported yesterday.

Though modest, the boost in showroom activity during August was more than double the gain of national sales.

For the industry as a whole, U.S. sales of new cars and light trucks were up 1.1 percent compared with August 1996.

Based on its revised figures, the MVA said consumers bought 30,221 new vehicles in August, compared with 29,459 in the same period last year.

Used cars continued to attract budget-conscious consumers.

Sales of previously owned vehicles in Maryland rose only 1.4 percent, but dealers sold five used vehicles for every three new vehicles.

The MVA reported total used-vehicle sales in August at 49,130 units. This compares with sales of 48,438 in August 1996.

According to the MVA, the average price of a new car was $20,862 in August, up $520 from July.

The average used-car price was $6,566.

Ford Motor Co.'s Taurus dropped off Automotive News' list of the 10 best-selling vehicles in the country during August.

Ford's full-size pickup continued as the best seller, followed by its counterpart at the Chevrolet division of General Motors Corp.

Honda Accord was the best-selling car and third overall. It was followed by the Toyota Camry and Honda Civic, according to the auto trade publication.

Other best sellers included the Ford Explorer, Dodge pickup, Chevrolet Cavalier, Ford Ranger and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

August was a good month for Lanham-based Range Rover of North America. Land Rover reported record U.S. sales of 2,359 sport utility vehicles, up from 2,140 in August 1996.

The MVA does not report sales of individual models.

Pub Date: 10/01/97

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