Only four domestics made the list. Two were Fords: the Fusion sedan and Escape crossover. The others were the Dodge Journey crossover and Pontiac G8 sedan. The Ford Flex crossover and Dodge Challenger muscle car were up, but neither was on sale for the full eight months of 2008.
The G8's increase was tinged with irony: It won't be around for the 2010 model year, and neither will Pontiac.
Nineteen of the 23 big gainers were imports -- four from Land Rover and three each from Hyundai, Kia, Jaguar and Subaru. The Nissan Z sports car, Nissan Rogue crossover and the Audi sedan were the others.
The biggest increase among the 23 was scored by the Fusion, up 16,163 or 15.0 percent, followed by the Subaru Forester crossover, up 15,711 or 39.4 percent. Next were the Pontiac G8 with a gain of 9,959 and the Hyundai Accent subcompact, up 9,282.
The first month out of bankruptcy didn't help General Motors much with August sales. In fact, the company fell farther behind its not-so-great 2008 performance.
Sales declines for August vs. last year were Chevrolet, 9.1 percent; GMC, 45.3 percent; Buick, 51.1 percent; and Cadillac, 55.0 percent.
Pontiac, one of the makes GM is dumping, was up 23.3 percent. But the three other discards had a miserable month, with declines of 58.4 percent for Saturn, 64.0 percent for Hummer and 67.8 percent for Saab. GM as a whole was off 20.1 percent.
One reason for the decline, according to GM: Last year, the company was staging an employee-pricing-for-all program.