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Industry Sales Pace at 15 Million Annual Rate

March 02, 2012

A recent uptick in gas prices pushed consumers toward fuel-efficient vehicles rather than back to the sidelines, with the annual sales rate jumping to 15.1 million vehicles, according to Autodata. This was the best monthly showing since February 2008. Volkswagen led the way with a 42 percent sales surge year over year, followed by Chrysler’s 40 percent increase.

Audi: Audi of America reported 8,531 luxury vehicles sold in February, surpassing the prior February record set in 2011. The company’s year-over-year vehicle sales increased 10 percent while it’s year-to-date growth increased 14.9 percent compared to 2011. Three Audi models recorded year-over-year sales increases of 15 percent or more, including the Audi A3, Audi A6 and Audi TT models.

BMW/MINI: BMW Group reported February sales of 26,184 vehicles, a 31.5 percent increase from the 19,919 vehicles sold during the year-ago month. Sales of BMW brand vehicles increased 29.2 percent from a year ago to 21,204 in February. MINI USA reported sales of 4,980 units, an increase of 42.2 percent from the 3,503 sold in February 2011.

Chrysler: Chrysler Group LLC recorded its best February sales month since 2008 with 133,521 units sold, a 40 percent increase from February 2010. The Chrysler brand recorded a 114 percent year-over-year increase, while the FIAT brand finished its first year of sales with its best month ever. Sales of the Fiat 500 were up 69 percent compared to the previous month. Both the Jeep and Dodge brands posted year-over-year sales increases in February as well.

Ford: Ford Motor Company experienced a 14 percent increase in sales vs. the year-ago month, with 179,119 vehicles sold. Retail sales alone increased 19 percent. The Ford brand was up 14 percent, while Lincoln posted a 16 percent increase vs. a year ago. Ford’s F-Series posted a 26 percent increase, totaling 47,273 pickups. Focus sales totaled 23,350 units.

GM: General Motors Co. announced total sales of 209,306 vehicles in February, up 1.1 percent compared to a year ago. Year-over-year sales of the Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD were up 28 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Other sales highlights for February include double-digit sales increases for the Buick LaCrosse, the Chevrolet Equinox and Camaro, and the GMC Terrain.

Honda/Acura: American Honda Motor Co. posted sales of 110,157 units, an increase of 7.8 percent vs. February 2011, based on the daily selling rate. The Honda Division posted February 2012 sales of 98,899, an increase of 8.8 percent year over year. The Acura Division’s February sales totaled 11,258, up 0.1 percent compared to February 2011, with the TL and TSX models registering strong sales increases.

Hyundai: Hyundai Motor America announced record February sales of 51,151 units, up 18 percent vs. 2011. Overall retail sales rose 29 percent year over year, while sales of the Sonata, Elantra and Accent increased by 11 percent, 12 percent and 29 percent, respectively. Combined sales of the Genesis and Equus models were up five percent over 2011 as well.

Mazda: Mazda North American Operations recorded its February sales month since 1994 with 25,651 units sold, representing an increase of 32.3 percent vs. last year. Mazda2 sales totaled 2,701, marking a 210.5 percent year-over-year increase, while Mazda3 sales totaled 11,275 vehicles for a 39.6 percent increase. Mazda 6 reported its best month since March 2008 with 5,101 vehicles sold, a 79.7 percent increase over 2011.

Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes-Benz USA reported February sales of 19,679 vehicles, a 21.7 percent improvement over February 2011 and the highest February volume on record. Sales for the month of February were led by the C-, E-, and M-Class model lines. The C-Class led the way with sales of 5,240, up 17 percent over February 2011. The E-Class came in right behind with sales of 4,206 and the M-Class rounded out the top three with sales of 3,408, up 77.1 percent compared to February 2011. 

Nissan/Infiniti: Nissan North America Inc. posted February U.S. sales of 106,731 units vs. 92,370 units a year earlier, marking an increase of 15.5 percent. Nissan Division posted a record February with 97,492 sales, an increase of 17.1 percent over the old record of 83,226 units set in 2011. Infiniti delivered 9,239 vehicles in February, an increase of 1 percent vs. 9,144 units a year earlier.

Toyota: Toyota Motor Co. reported monthly sales of 159,423 units in February, a 7.9 percent year-over-year increase on a daily selling rate basis  and 12.4 percent on an unadjusted raw volume basis. Led by sales of the Camry and Camry Hybrid and the Prius family, the Toyota Division recorded February sales of 142,745 units, an increase of 7 percent vs. the year ago month. The Lexus Division reported sales of 16,678 units, up 15.9 percent over last February.

Volkswagen: Volkswagen of America Inc. realized its best February since 1973 with 30,577 units sold. The company’s performance also represented a 42.5 percent increase vs. a year ago. Sales of the Passat totaled 8,189 units for the month of February, while the Jetta sedan remains the volume leader for Volkswagen with sales totaling 11,694 — its best February ever. The 2012 Beetle sold 1,303 units while the Tiguan sold 2,280 units.

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