The nation’s auto manufacturers reported strong sales today for August, with Toyota claiming a 23 percent gain and General Motors up some 15 percent. Ford and Chrysler nationally were charting gains of 12 percent in total sales, up 20 percent at the retail level.

Regionally, Ford dealers collectively had their best retail sales month since August 2006. Small car sales lead the trend for most, with the Fusion models gaining more than 300 percent in year-over-year comparisons for most stores.

Total car sales at Auburn’s Scarff Ford are reported to be up 214 percent from August 2012. All Star Ford in Olympia showed a 152 percent gain over the year. Riverside Ford in Sumner and the Korum dealership in Puyallup each showed 60+ percent gains, with Lakewood Ford up 57 percent and Tacoma’s Titus-Will Ford ahead by 34 percent.

Analysts say the very strong car sales across all manufacturers reflect consumers being attracted to new models and features, plus continuing low interest rates.