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Feb. sales: Ford soars 43%, Toyota down 10.6%, GM up 11.5%

UPDATED at 3:33 p.m.:

Toyota's recall problems can now be quantified: A 10.6 percent drop in February sales, compared to February 2009.

The troubled Japanese auto giant reported its February numbers moments ago. This was the automaker everyone was looking at, waiting to see the sales impact of an ongoing 8-million vehicle recall and tough lawmaker scrutiny in recent weeks.

Forecasters expected Toyota's February sales to slump between 10 and 15 percent.

Toyota is expected to launch an aggressive sales promotion tomorrow -- zero percent financing for 60 months on 2010 models.

In other sales news, if there was any doubt which automaker is benefiting the most from a) the Great Recession and b) the Toyota troubles, let that doubt be put to bed: The answer is Ford.

Ford's February sales soared 43 percent, compared to February 2009, blasting past expectations for the month, the company said moments ago.

Ford's U.S. market share increased to 17 percent, up three percent from last February.

In an interview on CNBC moments ago, Ford sales analyst George Pipas said that February fleet sales were up 74 percent, reflecting pent-up demand, and retail sales were up 28 percent. For the month, fleet sales made up 40 percent of Ford's total sales. Typically, fleet sales are less profitable than retail sales.

Ford also increased its production targets for the second quarter of this year. February marked the first month since 1998 that it outsold General Motors in the U.S.

GM was the first to report February auto sales today, and said sales were up 11.5 percent in the month, about half the figure forecasters expected.

Forecasters expected GM sales to rise 24 percent in February. They predicted that Ford sales would rise 30.1 percent and Chrysler sales would drop 13.2 percent.

Don't forget: The big snows in February across much of the country impacted sales and that will show up in today's figures.

February results from other automakers:

  • Chrysler reported a .5 percent uptick in February sales, the first year-over-year sales increase since December 2007. Talk about beating expectations. The embattled Detroit automaker ought to break out the champagne. This is a big victory for them.

  • Nissan was up 29 percent.

  • Kia was up nine percent.

  • Honda was up 13 percent, despite almost no visible efforts to take Toyota's market share via incentives.

  • Subaru continued its runaway success, reporting a 38 percent rise.

  • Mercedes-Benz sales were up eight percent.

    Follow me on Twitter at @theticker

  • By Frank Ahrens  |  March 2, 2010; 3:33 PM ET
    Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: GM, General Motors, auto sales, toyota, toyota recall model and years  
    Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Stocks rise at opening following overseas gains
    Next: Rockefeller: Toyota should be required to add brake-override systems to all Toyotas in U.S., regardless of vehicle age, cost

    Comments

    We had phenomenal snow, and Ford, GM and Subaru offer plenty of 4WD SUVs.

    Posted by: gbooksdc | March 2, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

    "Koua Fong Lee has always maintained his innocence in the 2006 crash. Then 29 years old, he was driving home from Sunday services with his pregnant wife, father, daughter, brother and niece in his 1996 Toyota Camry.

    Lee told investigators that he pumped the brakes as he exited I-94 in St. Paul, Minnesota, and approached an intersection, his lawyer, Brent Schaefer, said. But Ramsey County prosecutors claimed Lee had his foot on the gas as he approached cars waiting at a red light.

    The car was moving at between 70 and 90 mph when it struck two other vehicles. Javis Adams, 33, and his 10-year-old son, Javis Adams Jr., were killed instantly. Another passenger, 6-year-old Devyn Bolton, was left paraplegic. She testified in a wheelchair at Lee's trial and later died from her injuries."

    **************************************************************************************

    SamRam
    Not only should every Amerrican be offended by the criminal neglect displayed by Toyota executives; we should restrict the re-sale of any pre-owned Toyota vehicle before it has been retro-fitted to an acceptable standard of safety. That "acceptable standard" should be set by enforcable design; not by the whims of the same Toyota executives that have caused stories like this and numerous others to fall on deaf -- except for the crinkle of Japanese Yen or American Dollars -- ears.

    Posted by: samxstreampools | March 2, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

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