FORD MOTOR COMPANY +20% (excluding Volvo and Mercury)
Ford's overall gain doesn't look so impressive, but Ford actually did rather well this time last year (when it briefly took the top spot, beating both Toyota and GM), so it's harder to make a huge jump.
The F-series posted only a modest gain (+14%) despite the truck fervor, but the Fusion (+40%) was on fire, passing the Honda Accord to take the #5 spot in the overall sales race. The Fiesta outsold the slipping Taurus (-12%), while Explorer sales more than doubled.
There was a little good news in Lincoln land (MKX +13%, Navigator +14%), but it was more than offset by the decline for the MKS, which fell by half.
TOYOTA MOTOR SALES +42%
Toyota may finally be shaking off the hangover from its recall nightmare of 2010, which stayed with the Japanese automaker through the whole of last year. Speaking of those recalls, February 2010 was the month the company actually had to suspend new-car sales, so the awfulness of its year-ago sales artificially inflates the year-over-year percentage gain.
A huge month for the Camry (+64%, and nearly 10,000 better than January), Corolla/Matrix (+52%), Highlander (+139%) and the Sienna (+118%) helped Toyota bounce back big from its year-ago numbers. Surprisingly, the Venza (-25%), FJ Cruiser (-17%), and Yaris (-53%) managed to do worse this year than last.
Sales of the HS250h have collapsed (-74%), while the mainstay ES (+11%) and RX (+15%) both scratched out increases.
The new tC nearly doubled, but the more surprising result was that the xD was able to reverse its recent downtrend (+29%).
AMERICAN HONDA +22%
Honda didn't quite match the overall market gain, but then again, Honda wasn't in the same depths of despair one year ago.
The Accord is sort of stagnating (+2%), albeit still with nearly 23,000 units sold (8000 more than January), so it's not exactly a crisis. Still, it did fall out of the Top 5 nameplates (to #6). The CR-V (+61%) was the major engine of Honda's growth.
The RDX (+58%), MDX (+18%), and the TSX (+32%) each added roughly 600 units to their previous count, pushing Acura ahead.