News / Economy

US Auto Sales Surge 27 Percent in February

Multimedia

Auto sales jumped sharply in the United States last month as consumers came back to showrooms to check out the newest models.  The world's top two automakers gained the most traction in February, bolstered in part by consumers migrating to more fuel-efficient vehicles.  Toyota and General Motors posted the biggest year-over-year gains but other automakers are also reporting robust sales.

Auto dealerships enjoyed their best month since August 2009, when the government's cash for clunkers program gave the industry a much needed boost.  Auto analyst George Magliano says U.S. sales surged 27 percent in February, easily beating already high expectations.

"We are getting this with less incentives, better pricing, higher transaction prices," he said. "The mix of vehicles is better. The people are buying the top end of the line as opposed to the entry model."

General Motors, which emerged from bankruptcy last year, led the pack with a 46 percent increase in business.  And number one Toyota, which was hurt by massive recalls last year, was up 42 percent.

Ford Motor Company, the only U.S. automaker to refuse a bailout, gained 14 percent - while Chrysler posted a 13 percent increase ahead of its public offering expected later this year.

Ford sales analyst George Pipas attributed the higher numbers to improved consumer confidence and pent-up demand.

"Consumers have been sitting on the sidelines for two years and deferring purchases of automobiles," he said. "And so one of the built up things in our industry is that now the age of cars and trucks on the road is over 10 years and that's a historic high. So at some point in time and in fact already we are starting to see those vehicles being traded for new cars and trucks."

But the gains may be temporary.  Investors fear rising oil prices due to the unrest in Libya could foil the economic recovery, leaving consumers with less money to buy cars.  Magliano disagrees, saying higher gas prices might actually be a selling point.

"With gasoline prices higher, certain people might want to go out there and get a much more fuel-efficient vehicle and I don't mean even a hybrid or an electric vehicle which they could do, but the gasoline engine vehicles get 25, 30 percent better mileage today than they did three or four years ago," he said.

Auto executives say cheaper leases and easier credit helped boost the industry's bottom line. Based on last month's rate, total U.S. sales could top 13 million vehicles this year.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8143
JPY
USD
119.23
GBP
USD
0.6390
CAD
USD
1.1596
INR
USD
63.304

Rates may not be current.