Automakers appeared to enjoy an early spring this year as manufacturers generally posted double digit sales increases for February.
Even Mitsubishi, which had seen its share of hard times, reported a big gain in sales, while Suzuki –which posted a long string of sales declines in 2009 and 2010, leading many to wonder if it would abandon the U.S. market — reported a 19% gain.
Toyota also used an easy comparison — and heavy incentive spending — to spur a 42% increase in overall sales and a 70% increase in demand for the Prius hybrid. Prius sales tend to rise and fall right along with the gasoline prices, but it didn’t hurt that in February 2010 the Japanese giant had put a sales hold on many of its products while it addressed problems with sticky accelerator pedals.
So far rising gasoline prices haven’t had much of an impact on vehicles sales. Though the sales figures indicate that fuel efficient vehicles such as Ford Fiesta, Toyota Prius and Chevrolet Cruze all did well during February, so did sales of pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles.
General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler all posted double-digit sales gains.