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Ford Sales Race Past GM; Toyota Falters

Ford says its sales in February rose for every brand, when compared to the same month last year

Some of the world's major automakers are seeing a surge in sales, led by a 43 percent jump at U.S.-based Ford Motor Company.

Ford on Tuesday said its sales in February rose for every brand, when compared to the same month last year.

It also was the first time since 1998 that Ford out-sold General Motors, the biggest U.S. carmaker.

GM also posted gains in February. The Detroit-based automaker said sales increased almost 12 percent compared to February of last year, when officials feared the automaker might collapse.

The carmaker said sales of its four core brands - Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac - rose 32 percent.

In contrast, sales at Toyota, the world's largest automaker, slid almost 9 percent in February.

Ford car factory

Ford car factory

The auto giant has been hurt by safety recalls affecting about 8.5 million vehicles, with sales down for most models. The company's Prius hybrid was the lone exception, with sales up about 10 percent.

South Korea's largest automaker, Hyundai, boosted sales 23 percent in February over the same month last year.

Hyundai said Tuesday that much of the growth was due to a 27 percent increases in overseas sales, led by demand in China and India.

Just last week, the Seoul-based carmaker recalled more than 47,000 Sonata sedans because of problems with the locking mechanism on the car's doors.

Toyota's Japanese rivals also did well.

Honda said its sales increased almost 13 percent in February, while Nissan said its sales jumped 29 percent.

Another Japanese automaker, Subaru, said its U.S. sales surged 38 percent on demand for its redesigned Outback wagon.

Chrysler Group, the U.S. carmaker bought last year by European carmaker Fiat, said year-on-year sales were up slightly this February, though truck sales dipped 10 percent.

Car sales in Germany are sliding. The drop coincides with the expiration of Germany's auto-buying incentive program.

The German Association of International Motor Vehicle Manufacturers said Tuesday that new car registrations - a way of measuring sales - fell 30 percent in February from the same time last year. Registrations also are down 20 percent for the first two months of 2010, compared to a year ago.

GM said Tuesday it will triple the amount of aid to its struggling European Opel and Vauxhall units to $2.6 billion.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.