Auto News for March 2
(Correcting the best-selling car.)
Auto and truck sales were basically flat in February, according to the Wall St. Journal.
General Motors was the only one of the Detroit Big Three to say it sold more vehicles last month, with sales up 4.2 percent. It was aided by strong demand for its pickup trucks – Chevrolet Silverado demand was up 17 percent.
Ford sales were off 4 percent, but the company said it sold a record amount of SUV’s and F-Series pickups rode into March with an 8.7 percent gain. Consumers were not buying cars, a continuation of the now long running trend. Blue Oval car sales fell 24 percent compared to February of 2016.
Things were not much better at Fiat Chrysler with a 10.1 percent sales decline overall with Jeep sales falling 15 percent from last year. Ram trucks were the bright light with four percent more of them rolling off dealer lots.
Toyota reported a 7.2 percent decline in sales with Lexus sales off 20.6 percent. Yet SUV sales posted their best ever February, up just over 14 percent with thanks to the Highlander, RAV4 and 4Runner.
Honda reported total February sales of 121,686 Honda and Acura vehicles, an increase of 2.3 percent over February 2016 and a new record for the month. “The new CR-V is exceeding our own expectations with production and deliveries now fully up to speed,” said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division. Demand for the smaller HR-V was also strong.
Smiles continued at Subaru with record February sales, up 8.3 percent year over year and the 63rd consecutive month of yearly month over month growth. It was the best February ever for Outback, Forester, Crosstrek and WRX/WRX STI.
February sales were also strong at Audi up 17 percent with the Q5, Q7 SUVs and the A4 sedan leading the volume gains.
A smaller 0.3 percent gain was reported by BMW in February
Nissan said total sales for February 2017 reached 135,740 units, an increase of 4 percent over the prior year and a February record. And the beat goes on – crossovers, trucks and SUVs set a February record.
The much talked about warm weather over parts of the country aided Mazda’s sales efforts as the MX-5 Miata sports car posted its best February figures since 2006. Customers also were shopping for the CX-5 and the CX-9.
Volkswagen reported sales of 25,145 units delivered in February, a 12.7 percent increase over February 2016. With 48,655 units delivered year-to-date in 2017, the company is reporting an increase of 14.75 percent in year-over-year sales.
A couple of other notes. The Nissan Rogue was the top selling vehicle that was not a pickup truck. The best-selling car was the Toyota Camry.