GM declared recently that the February U.S. sales rose 1.1%, while Ford Motors’ sales passed 14% and Chrysler Group LLC 40%.
GM sold 209,306 units in February, more than the 207,028 vehicles sold in February 2011. GM managed to gain its strength back in four years by changing the product lines. If in 2008 when gas prices rose, GM didn’t have competitive small fuel-efficient cars, today’s rising gas prices have caught the company with the fuel-efficient Chevrolet Sonic and Chevrolet Cruze, rising the sales. At Ford, the revised Focus has brought a triple-digit increase in about a year, making 2011 the best year in more than a decade. Chevrolet also saw a considerable improvement with its strong Cruze sales, the Sonic posting its best month ever with 7,900 sales and commercial truck sales up 35%.
Nissan North America also saw a rise of 15.5% in February U.S. sales, Nissan division’s sales jumped 17.1 percent, a February record for sales, and Infiniti rose 1 percent.
Hyundai’s sales were up 17.5% to 51.151% and its retail sales grew 29.3% with the fleet mix down to 7.8 percent.
Volkswagen of America Inc. saw its strongest February since 1973, with 30,577 units sold in the States, up 42.5% year-over-year, the Passat having its best month since August 2011.
Analysts predict a strong showing overall. But Santa Monica, Calif.-based Edmunds.com expects nearly 1.1 million new cars sold in February, which would be up 10.3 percent from the same month a year ago.
“There’s a rising tide of excellent buying conditions right now that is really driving auto sales momentum,” said Edmunds.com senior analyst Jessica Caldwell in a statement. “Between surprisingly strong sales over Presidents Day weekend, optimistic economic news and unseasonably mild weather conditions across the country, things seem to be breaking the right way for both car buyers and dealers.”
TrueCar.com also expects new vehicle sales in the United States will hit nearly 1.1 million units, up 9.6 percent from February 2011, but predicts GM to fall 6.1 percent, since the company was aggressive with incentives and early lease termination offers, which pushed its sales higher in the beginning of 2011.