Record high petrol prices and the power cut that darkened much of the eastern United States did little to dim US new vehicle sales in August, which are expected to hit their strongest level of the year, Reuters reported. Steve Lyons, the head of Ford Motor's Ford division, on Thursday told the news agency that US new car and light truck sales could hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 18.2 million to 18.7 million in August, far above July's strong rate of 17.2 million.