August auto sales were up 17%, reaching pre-recession levels

Steady job growth and lower interest rates helped U.S. auto sales rise 17% in August compared with the year before, with General Motors, Ford and Chrysler each seeing double-digit sales growth. The numbers set an annual sales pace of 16.09 million vehicles, besting the 16 million mark set in December 2007. "The market is real strong right now. It hasn't been like this since the '80s," said Ohio dealer Doug Waikem.

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