This month's US new vehicle sales (including fleet sales) are expected to be 1.5m units, a 1.3% increase year on year, according to analysts Edmunds.com.

"While sales are essentially flat, there is a drastic difference in the types of vehicles consumers are buying," the company's chief industry analyst, Jesse Toprak, said.

"Large SUV sales are down approximately 14% compared with this time last year while compact car sales are up approximately 18%. This is especially significant for the industry since large SUVs typically transact at around $US37,000 per vehicle while the transaction price for the typical compact car is about $17,000."

This August had 27 selling days, one more than last August did. When adjusted for this difference, sales are down about 2.5% from August 2005.

The combined monthly US market share for Chrysler, Ford and General Motors (GM) domestic nameplates is estimated to be 53.3% in August, down from 55.4% in August 2005 and unchanged from July 2006.

Edmunds.com predicts Chrysler will sell 164,000 units in August, up nearly 10% compared to July 2006. This would result in a new car market share of 11.0% for Chrysler in August, down from 12.7% in August 2005 but up from 10.0% in July 2006.

Ford will sell 248,000 units in August, up 5% month on month. This would see a market share of 16.6% of new car sales in August, down from 19.1% in August 2005 but up from 15.9% in July 2006.

GM will sell 385,000 units in August, down 5% compared to July 2006. Market share is expected to be 25.7% in August, up from 23.7% in August 2005 but down from 27.3% in July 2006.

Honda will sell 155,000 units in August, up 2% from July 2006. Its market share is expected to be 10.3%, down from 10.6% in August 2005 and but up slightly from 10.2% in July 2006.

Edmunds.com predicts Nissan will sell 85,000 units in August, down about 1% from July 2006. Market share is seen at 5.7%, down from 6.3% in August 2005 and from 5.8% in July 2006.

Toyota will sell 242,000 units in August, unchanged from July 2006. Market share is expected to be 16.2% in August, up from 13.9% in August 2005 and unchanged from July.