GM sales up; Ford, Fiat Chrysler down in February – USA TODAY
U.S. auto sales were expected to cool off slightly in February, according to most analysts. Edmunds.com forecasted a 1% decline, Kelley Blue Book projected a 3.3% decrease and TrueCar subsidiary ALG predicted a 1.4% decline. LMC Automotive projected a 0.6% increase.
Here’s how the domestic automakers fared:
Edmunds forecast: 5.7%
Kelley Blue Book forecast: -2.1%
ALG forecast: 1.2%
Actual results: 4.2%
The Detroit automaker said its average transaction prices hit an all-time high for February, rising to $34,900, as overall sales totaled 237,388 units. Retail sales, which are more profitable than fleet sales, rose 5%.
Chevrolet sales rose 3.4%, compared to a year earlier. GMC was up 17.2%. Buick and Cadillac fell 9.4% and 8.6%, respectively.
GM got a big boost from sales of crossovers and sport-utility vehicles, which are flourishing amid low gasoline prices. The automaker said three Chevrolet SUVs, the Equinox, Trax and Traverse, had their best-ever February results. However, sales of many car models fell.
Edmunds forecast: -3.4%
Kelley Blue Book forecast: -5.6%.
ALG forecast: -4.2%
Actual results: -4%
Ford’s February sales were dragged down by a protracted slump of its cars, while sales of its crossovers and SUVs continued to post gains.
Sales of Ford’s cars fell 24%, while sales of its SUVs increased 5.8% and truck sales rose 5.8%.
The company’s namesake brand recorded a 4.5% decrease, while the luxury Lincoln brand continued its hot streak with an 8.8% increase.
The F-series pickup lineup, the most popular vehicle in the U.S., increased 8.7% to 65,956 units.
Edmunds forecast: -9.5%
Kelley Blue Book forecast: -7.6%
ALG forecast: -10.1%
Actual results: -10.1%
In February Fiat Chrysler continued its campaign of reducing its previously heavy reliance on fleet sales. The company said its fleet sales fell 26%, while retail sales declined 3%.
Overall the company sold 168,326 vehicles in the U.S. in February.
The Jeep brand declined 14.7% to 62,345, the Chrysler brand fell 28.1% to 16,730, the Dodge brand was down 6.6% to 43,878, and the Fiat brand declined 19.1% to 2,145.
The Ram van and truck brand was a bright spot, posting a 3.6% increase to 42,785 units. Sales of the Alfa brand, still new to the U.S. market, totaled 443 units for the month.
Contributing: Brent Snavely of the Detroit Free Press
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.