Auto sales take the chill out of February

Mar 2, 2011

With some vehicle models showing increases of 40%, 50% or more than 60% over the same period a year ago, February has turned out to be a solid sales month for the automotive industry.

Toyota’s Camry/Solara models produced a change of more than 64%, while Honda’s CR-V showed more than 61% and Chevy’s Silverado hit just over 60%. The Toyota Corolla and Matrix models accounted for a 52.2% increase year over year and Ford’s Fusion easily topped 40% above a year ago. The data was reported by Autodata.

Ford’s F-series of pickups proved the top overall seller in unit sales and posted a 14% year-over-year increase. The Silverado truck came in second in overall February unit sales.

Nissan’s Altima increased its sales by 28.5% and Chevy’s Malibu posted a gain of 26%.

Spiffs, or incentives, by several carmakers helped spur on February sales.

The question will be whether such pickup models as the Silverado an F series will continue to gain strong sales ground as oil prices continued to spike, and whether the auto industry will hurt substantially from those rising prices that will spike even more at the gas pump. Many think the plus-$4/gal. threshold will have to crest before the price at the pump will change auto consumer buying trends.