Buried in last month's sales numbers was a milestone for Hyundai: The Sonata became the first Korean nameplate to rank among the five best-selling cars in the United States.
The Sonata, which was redesigned early this year, was No. 4 in August among car models. Sales of the mid-sized sedan rose 81 percent over August 2009 to 21,399 units.
The Toyota Camry was No. 1 last month with 30,764 sales, followed by the Honda Accord and Civic. The Sonata beat the No. 5 Toyota Corolla/Matrix, which sold 20,280 units. The Ford Fusion, Ford Focus, Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Impala and Nissan Altima rounded out the top 10.
In July, the Sonata was No. 8. Through August it also ranks eighth at 128,484 sales.
The Sonata's redesign arrived when competing products were less competitive than usual, said Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst at Edmunds.com.
"The Camry is pretty long in the tooth, and the Accord isn't as strong as it has been," she said, adding that Toyota is still reeling from its recalls.