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February Sales Forecast to be Stronger Than Expected, Reports Edmunds.com

February 27, 2008

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — This month's new-vehicle sales (including fleet sales) are expected to be 1.22 million units, a 2.3 percent decrease from February 2007 and a 16.8 percent increase from January 2008, according to Edmunds.com.

“Despite the decline in new-vehicle sales, the automotive industry seems to be stronger than some were expecting so far this year,” observed Jesse Toprak, executive director of Industry Analysis for Edmunds.com. “Automakers continue to be proactive in their marketing programs and incentive spending to keep showroom traffic from slowing down during these times of adverse economic news.”

February 2008 has 25 selling days, one more than February 2007. When adjusted for this difference, sales decreased 6.2 percent from February 2007.

The combined monthly U.S. market share for Chrysler, Ford and General Motors (GM) domestic nameplates is estimated to be 51.9 percent in February 2008, down from 55.1 percent in February 2007 and down from 52.1 percent in January 2008.

"After months of inconsistent ups and downs for the automakers, we are now back to an old theme; domestic market share fell while the major Japanese players enjoyed gains," commented Michelle Krebs, senior editor of Edmunds' AutoObserver.com. “Chrysler, Ford and GM must continue to work hard at raising awareness of their vehicles and closing the gap in quality perceptions vs. realities."

Edmunds.com predicts Chrysler will sell 163,000 units in February 2008, down 6.7 percent compared to February 2007 and up 18.9 percent from January 2008. This would result in a new-car market share of 13.4 percent for Chrysler in February 2008, down from 14.0 percent in February 2007 and up slightly from 13.1 percent in January 2008.

Edmunds.com predicts Ford will sell 191,000 units in February 2008, down 6.7 percent compared to February 2007 and up 22.6 percent from January 2008. This would result in a new-car market share of 15.6 percent of new car sales in February 2008 for Ford, down from 16.4 percent in February 2007 and up from 14.9 percent in January 2008.

Edmunds.com predicts GM will sell 280,000 units in February 2008, down 9.5 percent compared to February 2007 and up 11.3 percent from January 2008. GM's market share is expected to be 22.9 percent of new-vehicle sales in February 2008, down from 24.7 percent in February 2007 and down from 24.1 percent in January 2008.

Edmunds.com predicts Honda will sell 118,000 units in February 2008, up 7.4 percent from February 2007 and up 19.9 percent from January 2008. Honda’s market share is expected to be 9.7 percent in February 2008, up from 8.8 percent in February 2007 and up from 9.4 percent in January 2008.

Edmunds.com predicts Nissan will sell 90,000 units in February 2008, up 5.2 percent from February 2007 and up 17.0 percent from January 2008. Nissan's market share is expected to be 7.3 percent in February 2008, up from 6.8 percent in February 2007 and even at 7.3 percent in January 2008.

Edmunds.com predicts Toyota will sell 202,000 units in February 2008, up 7.9 percent from February 2007 and up 17.6 percent from January 2008. Toyota's market share is expected to be 16.6 percent in February 2008, up from 15.0 percent in February 2007 and up slightly from 16.5 percent in January 2008.

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