Make us your home page
Instagram

Auto sales hit higher gear in February

DETROIT — The U.S. auto sales recovery picked up steam last month, with all major car companies reporting double-digit gains.

General Motors led the way with a whopping 49 percent U.S. sales jump compared with February of 2010, followed closely by Toyota, with a 42 percent gain.

Nissan and Honda had gains of 32 percent and 22 percent, respectively, while Hyundai's sales went up 28 percent.

Chrysler and Ford showed much smaller increases at 13 and 10 percent, respectively.

The companies said Tuesday that consumers snapped up both cars and trucks, buoyed by a gradually improving economy, and the U.S. automakers pointed to strong sales of new models. But the sales gains, especially for GM, were juiced by sweeter financing and lease deals.

The auto industry website TrueCar.com estimated that automakers raised incentives 5 percent from January to February to an average of $2,708 per vehicle. Chrysler, Ford, Nissan and Toyota all sweetened deals by more than 6 percent for the month, the site said.

Also, Toyota's gain, while impressive, was compared with a bad month last year when a string of embarrassing safety recalls had reached its peak.

Don Johnson, GM's vice president of U.S. sales, said GM has noticed more customers looking at small cars since gas prices have gone up, but consumer buying habits have yet to change.

Ford, however, said some customers were shifting to smaller cars as gas rose well above $3 per gallon nationwide because of turmoil in the Middle East.

"With oil nearing $100 per barrel and gasoline prices continuing to rise, consumers' consideration for fuel economy once again is taking top billing," Ken Czubay, Ford vice president of U.S. sales, said in a statement.

GM chief executive Dan Akerson at the Geneva Auto Show cautioned against optimism for the industry because of the rising oil prices.

"I don't think the industry learned a lot of lessons from 2008. They will this time around," he said of the 2008 spike in U.S. gas prices to above $4 per gallon.

Auto sales hit higher gear in February 03/01/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 10:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Report slams Pinellas construction licensing agency

    Local Government

    LARGO — The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board mismanaged its finances, lacked accountability and violated its own rules, according to a scathing report released Wednesday by the county's inspector general.

    Rodney Fischer, the executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board, resigned in January.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. A meatless burger that tastes like meat? Ciccio Restaurants will serve the Impossible Burger.

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — The most red-hot hamburger in the nation right now contains no meat.

    Luis Flores, executive chef at Ciccio Restaurant Group, prepares an Impossible Burger at Epicurean Hotel's Food Theatre. Impossible Burger is a plant-based burger that will launch on Sept. 27, 2017 in all the Ciccio Restaurant Group locations, except for Fresh Kitchen. "This burger caters to the carnivorous, not just the vegetarians" said Jeff Gigante, co-founder at Ciccio Restaurant Group. ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times
  3. Construction starts on USF medical school, the first piece of Tampa's Water Street project

    Health

    TAMPA — Dozens of workers in hard hats and boots were busy at work at the corner of South Meridian Avenue and Channelside Drive Wednesday morning, signaling the start of construction on the University of South Florida's new Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute.

    Construction is underway for the new Morsani College of Medicine and USF Health Heart Institute in downtown Tampa. This view is from atop Amalie Arena, where local officials gathered Wednesday to celebrate the first piece of what will be the new Water Street District. The USF building is expected to open in late 2019. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times]
  4. Tampa Bay among top 25 metro areas with fastest growing economies

    Economic Development

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy among 382 metro areas in the country for 2016. According to an analysis by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Tampa Bay's gross domestic product, or GDP, increased 4.2 percent from 2015 to 2016 to hit $126.2 billion.

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy in the country for 2016. Rentals were one of the areas that contributed to Tampa Bay's GDP growth. Pictured is attorney David Eaton in front of his rental home. 
[SCOTT KEELER | Times]
  5. Tampa Bay cools down to more moderate home price increases

    Real Estate

    The increase in home prices throughout much of the Tampa Bay area is definitely slowing from the torrid rate a year ago.

    This home close to Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa sold for $3.055 million in August, making it Hillsborough County's top sale of the month. [Courtesy of Bredt Cobitz]