[fimg=right]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/506/PG-OptimaHybrid-eL-310.jpeg[/fimg]Colin Wright - CleanMPG - Sep. 3, 2011. Kia Optima Hybrid - one of them is currently traveling around the USA to beat the 48 contiguous state fuel economy record for a hybrid car and doing so comfortably (in both senses) in the capable hands and feet of Wayne Gerdes and Chris Bernius of CleanMPG. Kia announced it's 12th consecutive monthly sales record, which puts it on pace beat its best ever annual sales by the end of September. Kia sales in the USA have grown steadily and this year will likely see the 17th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share. With August sales of 41,188 units, it saw a 26.9 percent increase over the same period last year and year-to-date sales are up 39.4 percent compared the previous year. August sales were led again by the Sorento CUV, which posted all-time best sales of 13,573. The Optima mid-size sedan also was a strong performer – 6,157 units – on the eve of the start of U.S. production in Georgia. The Soul is still one of the most popular small cars, although sales dropped significantly compared to July. The 2012 Soul will feature a modified engine which will help lift the combined fuel economy by 8.5% to a little over 30 mpg. The new Kia Rio 5-door will arrives in dealerships this month. It will be Kia's second car rated at 40 miles per gallon on the highway. Automobile Manufacturer's US Sales Rank - August 2011 vs. August 2010 Comparison and Total Sales GM August Sales up 13.4% with 218,479 vehicles sold. Ford August Sales up 7.0% with 175,220 vehicles sold. Chrysler August Sales up 25.6% with 130,119 vehicles sold. Toyota August Sales down 16.1% with 129,483 vehicles sold. Nissan August Sales up 17.7% with 82,517 vehicles sold. Honda August Sales down 27.2% with 82,321 vehicles sold. Hyundai August Sales up 4.9% with 58,505 vehicles sold. Kia August Sales up 22.0% with 41,188 vehicles sold. VW August Sales up 6.2% with 25,232 vehicles sold. BMW August Sales down 4.0% with 23,924 vehicles sold. Mazda August Sales up 10.2% with 22,632 vehicles sold. Subaru August Sales down 9.9% with 20,837 vehicles sold. Mercedes-Benz August Sales up 1.3% with 20,728 vehicles sold. Audi August Sales up 6.8% with 10,201 vehicles sold.