2010 February Auto Sales

One year ago was the nadir. February 2009 was the low point last winter, when auto sales all but ground to a halt. So the fact that February 2010 sales are up versus last year is good, but it's not saying much. What's more encouraging is that the percent gain over one year ago was pretty healthy: 13%. That's much better than January's 6% increase over similarly sickly 2009 totals, and close to December's 15% gain over year-ago figures. But while December sales are always goosed by the year-end deal-a-thon, February's boost seems more organic. Particularly since it was achieved despite an ongoing publicity nightmare for Toyota and, for much of the country, several days of bad winter weather. The only real qualifier for February is that it did reflect increased fleet sales (up from a very low level last winter) - and the fact that the February's annualized sales rate of 10 million vehicles is still far off the 17 million of just a few years ago.

Herewith a look at what's up (by more than 13%, outpacing the industry's overall gain), and what's down versus last year.

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