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Edmunds.com Forecasts February Auto Sales: Large and Midsize Car Sales Decline as Compact Cars Capture Consumer Interest

February 22, 2007

Santa Monica, Calif. — This month's new-vehicle sales (including fleet sales) are expected to be 1.209 million units, a 3.9- percent decrease from February 2006 but an 11.4-percent increase from January 2007, according to Edmunds.com.

"Luxury SUVs and compact cars are selling remarkably well this month. We predict they will be up 17.8 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively, over last February," said Jesse Toprak, executive director of industry analysis for Edmunds.com. "At the other end of the spectrum, sales of large and midsize cars are slower than they were at this time last year. We predict that large car sales will be down 18.2 percent and that midsize cars will dip 10.7 percent."

The combined monthly U.S. market share for Chrysler, Ford and General Motors (GM) domestic nameplates is estimated to be 53.0 percent in February 2007, down from 57.9 percent in February 2006 and up from 51.8 percent in January 2007.

Toprak explains, “Domestic sales continue to suffer from pre-planned production cuts and reduction of fleet sales. Year-over-year comparisons will reflect this reality for some time.”

“The domestic automakers hate to see negative numbers, but they know that this painful move is necessary to increase residual values and rebuild brand equity,” stated Michelle Krebs of Edmunds’ AutoObserver.com.

Edmunds.com predicts Chrysler will sell 173,000 units in February 2007, down 9.2 percent compared to February 2006 and up 10.6 percent from January 2007. This would result in a new-car market share of 14.3 percent for Chrysler in February 2007, down from 15.1 percent in February 2006 and down slightly from 14.4 percent in January 2007.

Edmunds.com predicts Ford will sell 184,000 units in February 2007, down 23.1 percent compared to February 2006 but up 14.2 percent from January 2007. This would result in a market share of 15.2 percent of new-car sales in February 2007 for Ford, down from 19.0 percent in February 2006 and up from 14.8 percent in January 2007.

Edmunds.com predicts GM will sell 284,000 units in February 2007, down 4.9 percent compared to February 2006 and up from 15.7 percent from January 2007. GM's market share is expected to be 23.5 percent of new-vehicle sales in February 2007, down slightly from 23.7 percent in February 2006 and up from 22.6 percent in January 2007.

Edmunds.com predicts Honda will sell 112,000 units in February 2007, up 5.3 percent from February 2006 and up 11.4 percent from January 2007. Its market share is expected to be 9.3 percent in February 2007, up from 8.5 percent in February 2006 and unchanged from January 2007.

Edmunds.com predicts Nissan will sell 86,000 units in February 2007, up 1.7 percent from February 2006 and up 3.6 percent from January 2007. Nissan's market share is expected to be 7.1 percent in February 2007, up from 6.7 percent in February 2006 and down from 7.6 percent in January 2007.

Edmunds.com predicts Toyota will sell 195,000 units in February 2007, up 16.6 percent from February 2006 and up 10.6 percent from January 2007. Toyota's market share is expected to be 16.1 percent in February 2007, up from 13.3 percent in February 2006 and down slightly from 16.2 percent in January 2007.

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