Even if analysts predicted a high increase in car sales to happen in February, after a frigid winter that kept buyers away from car lots and showrooms, the statistics show struggles in the automakers` attempt to come back in business.
However, vehicle sales mostly rose in February, with Toyota as the big gainers. Camry and Corolla sedans sold 13.4 percent and 10 percent respectively. The Japanese company reported total sales of 180,467. Moreover, Toyota sold nearly 22,000 RAV4 SUVs, up 33 percent from a year ago and a February record for the vehicle, with small SUVs still on the top of buyers` choices.
Ford reported disappointing results with a 2 percent decline from a year ago, selling 180,383 vehicles. Lincoln and Ford sales fell 7.5% and 1.7%, respectively. Still, they had a 4 percent growth in truck sales.
“Strong customer demand for the all-new F-150 drove strong February F-Series retail sales results,” said Mark LaNeve, vice president of U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service at Ford. “The all-new F-150 continues to be the hottest vehicles on dealer lots, turning more than four times faster than the industry’s overall full-size pickup segment.”, he added. SUVs like the Escape and Edge also saw sales declines.
Meanwhile, General Motors reported a 4 per cent growth over last February. The hottest brands were its large SUVs and the Silverado pickup but the Buick division saw a 9.2 percent decrease in sales. Cadillac, with a new chief and its headquarters moving to New York, dropped 12.6 percent over the same period last year.
“It was the worst two weeks of my life in the car business,” said Ken Cataldo, the Colonial Volkswagen of Medford general manager, who’s been selling cars for 29 years.
“Ford will come under increasing scrutiny if sales don’t pick up soon,” said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at AutoTrader.com.
Fiat Chrysler posted satisfactory results, with a 5.6 per cent increase, thanks to strong sales from its Jeeps (up 21 per cent) and Ram trucks (up 6.8 per cent). It was the best February in 8 years for Chrysler, as the Americans continued to buy small and large SUVs.
Despite the analysts` predictions of a 11 percent growth in sales, Honda reported just a light 5 percent increase. Officials acknowledged that Honda is reducing its global sales forecast for the year by at least 150,000 vehicles. The company has lowered its earnings expectations, and its most recent quarterly profits fell 15 percent because of recall expenses. Sales of the Honda Fit subcompact jumped 81 percent after a recent redesign, but sales of other brands like the Accord and Civic fell.
Nissan sales in North America rose by 3 percent.
“Weather may have been the biggest culprit”, said Ms. Krebs, talking about the lusterless February sales, She added that lost sales could probably be made up in March or April, similar to the way they did last year.
Image Source: EasyExport
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