A top Ford executive says Cash for Clunkers helped spur the first industrywide increase in auto sales in more than two years this month, the latest sign of recovery in the hobbled auto industry.
Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas, says annualized industry sales may have hit 13 million in August. He says Ford has already surpassed August sales last year with a weekend still to go.
Automakers are scheduled to report monthly sales on Tuesday. The clunkers program is expected to offer a much-needed lift. Ford was among the program's top gainers, with its Focus compact car and Escape crossovers among the top new vehicles purchased in exchange for trade-ins.
The Transportation Department says the program at a cost of $2.88 billion.
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