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U.S. Car Sales Reach Pre-Crash Levels

Still a long way to go to match prior peaks.

by on Mar.01, 2012

Ford doubled Focus sales last month.

U.S. car sales surged to their highest level in four years — reaching numbers not seen since the start of the industry’s worst downturn since the Great Depression.  Notably, there were no real losers during a month where analysts had anticipated a few manufacturers — notably GM — to turn in less than stellar performances.

A number of makers, in fact, posted records for the month, while Volkswagen reported its best sales in almost 40 years. Significantly, automakers saw average transaction prices, or ATPs — what consumers actually spend on a vehicle after incentives — surge by 7% while those givebacks fell 4% for the month, according to tracking service

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The strong showing, in a month when manufacturers collectively sold about 1.1 million new cars, light trucks and crossovers, suggests that recent studies are on target indicating a significant upturn in long-lagging consumer confidence.

“That in itself is probably a big green-light indicator for consumers,” said TrueCar analyst Jesse Toprak. “It’s telling them it’s OK to buy a car. You’ll be fine.”


February Auto Sales Match Most Upbeat Estimates

Improving consumer confidence shows up in the showroom.

by on Mar.01, 2012

Chrysler's flagship 300 posts a 480% sales increase for February, the maker up 40% overall. will update the Feb. 2012 sales story as more manufacturers report in.

With Volkswagen posting its best sales in almost 40 years, new car sales continued to gain momentum and to provide a huge lift the US economy during February.

Early forecasts had predicted a strong month and with preliminary results now coming in from VW, Chrysler Group, General Motors and Ford Motor Co. the analysts proved to be, if anything, conservative in their expectations, as all four companies reported substantial sales increases.

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Preliminary indications – with a number of major makers, including Toyota yet to report in – show that smaller passenger cars and crossovers gained significant momentum of their own in February as consumers responded to the threat fuel prices could again run up to record levels this year.