News / Economy

US Auto Sales Surge 27 Percent in February

Multimedia

TEXT SIZE - +

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

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7287
JPY
USD
103.22
GBP
USD
0.6027
CAD
USD
1.0991
INR
USD
60.191

Rates may not be current.