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Industry Suffers Another Sales Decline in February, Says Edmunds.com

February 27, 2009

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — This month's new vehicle sales (including fleet sales) are expected to be 685,000 units, a 41.4 percent decrease from February 2008 but a 4.6 percent increase from January 2009, according to Edmunds.com.

The Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) for the month is expected to be 9.3 million, down from 9.6 million in January 2009.

February 2009 had 24 selling days, one less than last February 2008. When adjusted for this difference, sales decreased 38.9 percent from February 2008. (The chart below sets forth other unadjusted and adjusted comparisons.)

Change from February 2008 (adjusted for fewer selling days)

Chrysler -53.1%

Ford -47.5%

General Motors -46.2%

Honda -32.1%

Nissan -32.9%

Toyota -36.3%

Industry Total -38.9%

Change from February 2008 (unadjusted for fewer selling days)

Chrysler -55.0%

Ford -49.6%

General Motors -48.4%

Honda -34.8%

Nissan -35.6%

Toyota -38.8%

Industry Total -41.4%

“The SAAR stabilized during the last four months, but now we anticipate another decline in February,” observed Jesse Toprak, executive director of industry analysis for Edmunds.com. “The fluctuation in car sales and the instability of the stock market are just two examples of the volatility in the marketplace, which is wrecking havoc on consumer confidence and hampering any economic recovery.”

The combined monthly U.S. market share for Chrysler, Ford and General Motors (GM) domestic nameplates is estimated to be 44.2 percent in February 2009, down from 52.2 percent in February 2008 but up from 43.0 percent in January 2009.

"Of the Big Six, Toyota is the only automaker that we expect will report a month-over-month decline when announcing February sales,” commented Michelle Krebs, senior editor of Edmunds' AutoObserver.com. "The plight of the auto industry cannot be blamed solely on the mistakes of Detroit automakers, but rather is caused by lagging demand for new vehicles across the board."

Edmunds.com predicts Chrysler will sell 67,000 units in February 2009, down 55.0 percent compared to February 2008 but up 9.1 percent from January 2009. This would result in a new car market share of 9.8 percent for Chrysler in February 2009, down from 12.8 percent in February 2008 but up from 9.4 percent in January 2009.

Edmunds.com predicts Ford will sell 96,000 units in February 2009, down 49.6 percent compared to February 2008 but up 5.5 percent from January 2009. This would result in a new car market share of 14.1 percent of new car sales in February 2009 for Ford, down from 16.3 percent in February 2008 but up slightly from 14.0 percent in January 2009.

Edmunds.com predicts GM will sell 139,000 units in February 2009, down 48.4 percent compared to February 2008 but up 8.4 percent from January 2009. GM's market share is expected to be 20.3 percent of new vehicle sales in February 2009, down from 23.1 percent in February 2008 but up from 19.6 percent in January 2009.

Edmunds.com predicts Honda will sell 75,000 units in February 2009, down 34.8 percent from February 2008 but up 5.9 percent from January 2009. Honda’s market share is expected to be 11.0 percent in February 2009, up from 9.9 percent in February 2008 and up from 10.8 percent in January 2009.

Edmunds.com predicts Nissan will sell 55,000 units in February 2009, down 35.6 percent from February 2008 but up 3.1 percent from January 2009. Nissan's market share is expected to be 8.1 percent in February 2009, up from 7.4 percent in February 2008 and down slightly from 8.2 percent in January 2009.

Edmunds.com predicts Toyota will sell 111,000 units in February 2009, down 38.8 percent from February 2008 and down 5.0 percent from January 2009. Toyota's market share is expected to be 16.3 percent in February 2009, up from 15.6 percent in February 2008 but down from 17.9 percent in January 2009.

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