TAX INCREASES. Rising fuel prices. Political dysfunction in Washington. None of that kept Americans away from car dealer showrooms in February as General Motors (GM), Ford and other vehicle manufacturers posted strong sales gains.
Industry analysts expect last month’s sales to be up about 7 percent from a year earlier as pent-up demand and cheap financing kept the US car sales recovery powering along.
But while sales for this year are expected to top last year’s figures, monthly increases are likely to be smaller than the double-digit gains the industry regularly posted during the past two years as sales recovered from historic lows following the recession.
GM sales rose 7 percent, while Ford’s increased 9 percent. Chrysler and Volkswagen (VW) also reported increases, but both slowed from the torrid pace of the past two years. Chrysler sales were up 4 percent over a year earlier, while VW sales were up 3 percent.
Toyota sales were up just over 4 percent. Of the major car makers, only Nissan was down. Its sales were off almost 7 percent from last year’s record February figures. – Sapa-AP