Americans may be worried about the economy, but they still need to get where they’re going. Auto sales beat expectations last month, rising 14% to 994,721, their fastest sales pace since August 2009, reports the AP. Chrysler led the pack: The automaker’s sales jumped 45%, Reuters reports. Close behind was Volkswagen, whose sales soared 41%; Hyundai, Nissan, and Ford also saw double-digit gains.
Sales at both General Motors and Toyota inched up 7%; it was Toyota’s first gain since April. How to explain the improvement? “Pent-up demand,” says an expert. With the average car on the road clocking in at 11 years old, analysts have been expecting such growth as consumers’ car repairs get more costly. Still, not everyone has had a great month: At Honda, still reeling from the earthquake in Japan, sales fell 6%, continuing a downward trend since May. (Read more auto industry stories.)