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:
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March 2, 2010; 3:33 PM ET
Categories: The Ticker | Tags: GM, General Motors, auto sales, toyota, toyota recall model and years
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