New car sales in North Texas’ four largest counties inched higher in August, lagging the national market’s double-digit gain but still up smartly for the year.Tarrant County didn’t participate in the rally, however, as new vehicle registrations slipped 11 percent to 9,297 cars and light trucks, according to Freeman Publishers. That put new Tarrant registrations up 5.4 percent for the year, which also lags the other big counties.According to automakers, fleet sales were down in August. Tarrant County registration figures include auto rental fleets at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, and shifts in that market are reflected in the county’s new registrations.For all of Tarrant, Dallas, Denton and Collin counties, new vehicle sales rose 2.6 percent last month to 29,868. They are up 8.4 percent for the year to 242,103.Nationwide, automakers reported a 17 percent gain in new car sales in August, with 1.5 million vehicles, an unusually strong month that put sales up 10 percent for the year. It was the best single month since 2007.Locally, Denton County saw the biggest increase in August as sales rose 14 percent and are up 13 percent for the year.Collin County saw sales rise 11 percent in August and 15 percent for the year, while Dallas County was up 9 percent in August and 7 percent for the year.
Jim Fuquay, 817-390-7552 Twitter: @jimfuquay