New cars are selling like hotcakes right now, with The Big Three Detroit automakers leading the way, thanks to an improving economy, ample financing and the appeal of new products. Chrysler reported a staggering 20-percent increase in July from a year earlier, Ford had its best July in eight years with a 10-percent jump and even General Motors, with all its recall woes this year, posted a 9-percent boost in sales. Asian automakers also posted solid sales last month. Toyota’s rose 11.6 percent, Hyundai climbed 2 percent and Nissan reported an increase of 11.4 percent. Honda officials said their sales were essentially flat but Volkswagen continued its struggles in 2014 with sales down 14.6 percent. One reason for the increase in sales in 2014 is a rise in incentives even as the average price paid for vehicles rose. The Kelley Blue Book estimated the average transaction price for light vehicles in the United States was $32,556 in July. New car prices increased $662, or 2.1 percent, from July 2013.
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- Joseph Szczesny, The Detroit Bureau