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Auto sales declined by a modest 1 percent in the United States in February 2017, dragged down by plunging sales at numerous Fiat Chrysler Automobiles brands and sharp declines at Toyota Motor Corp. and Hyundai-Kia. Ford Motor Company sales slid 4 percent because of a 26-percent decline in car sales at the Ford division.
Across much of the industry, there were signs of rude health, particularly if the car sector is ignored. Of the 20 most popular cars in America â€” a groupÂ topped by the Toyota Camry â€” 16 nameplates generated fewer sales this February than last. Yet America’s five leading utility vehicles (Rogue, CR-V, RAV4, Escape, Equinox) combined for more than 25,000 additional February sales in 2017. And while minivan sales plunged by a fifth, U.S. pickup truck sales were up 10 percent because of full-size truck strength.
These stark contradictions produced a market thatÂ produced slightly degraded numbers in one of the two traditionally weakest months on the calendar. Now one-sixth of the way into 2017, the poor selling season should be behind us.Â
Mercedes-Benz led all premium auto brands in February 2017. Lexus, typically a top contender for luxury leadership, posted a harsh decline for a second consecutive month following a December surge.
Mitsubishi was the fastest-growing mainstream brand, rising 39 percent year-over-year. Infiniti, Audi, GMC, and Volkswagen all reported double-digit percentage increases, along with niche brands like Maserati, Jaguar, Bentley, and Alfa Romeo, which sold 412 Giulias.
On the flip side, Chrysler, Mini, and Lexus all reported declines of more than 20 percent.
America’s largest-volume automaker, meanwhile, rose 4 percent. GM sales improved thanks to meaningfulÂ gains at Chevrolet and GMC, despite drops at Buick and Cadillac.
* Volkswagen Group includes sales figures for Audi, Bentley, Porsche, and Volkswagen brands
Â° Mercedes-Benz USA releases sales figures for the Mercedes-Benz brand in the conventional sense, vans excluded, as well as totals for the Metris and Sprinter vans. The complete picture is included here.
â€ Â Toyota’s sales figures include those of Toyota’s discontinued Scion brand.
** Industry total takes into account Automotive NewsÂ figures/estimates for brands such as Tesla (3,000 FebruaryÂ units) and other low-volume, high-priced manufacturers.
Timothy Cain is the founder ofÂ GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.
via The Truth About Cars March 1, 2017 at 06:15AM