Auto News for Feb. 3

The early returns indicate that January was another hot month for automakers with Fiat Chrysler sales up a robust 14 percent. And like previous reports, it was largely on demand for its Jeep and Ram truck products. Jeep sales rose 23 percent while 21 percent more Rams went out the door.

Ford posted its best January sales since 2004 with sales up 15 percent with demand strong for the new F-150 pickup, Mustang, Escape and Transit Connect models. Is the aluminum truck body putting off customers? Apparently not, with F-150 sales up 17 percent – the model’s best showing since 2004. Lincoln sales rose 11 percent for what Ford said is the brand’s best showing in five years.

GM said January sales rose 18 percent on crossover, and truck demand with Silverado sales up 25 percent. It is GM’s best January showing in seven years. “Consumers feel very good because more people are working, the U.S. economy is expanding and fuel prices are low,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of Sales Operations. He said demand for trucks and crossovers “is really driving our business…”

Light truck demand was also the reason Nissan reported a 15 percent sales gain last month.

Double digit sales gains for the Fit, CR-V and Pilot helped Honda post record January sales. They rose 11.4 percent year over year. Acura sales were up nearly that much thanks to the MDX and the RDX.

How much did we pay for those new rides? Kelley Blue Book said average transaction prices rose 5.2 percent to $33,993.

Hummer snow plow

Okay, you have all seen a Hummer stretch limo, but how about one that is not only luxurious but plows snow? The operator of a limo service in Sweden will lease one out believing that those who live in a mansion or castle might want to remove snow while enjoying high class surroundings. The deal came to light on “The Local” a Swedish English language web site.

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