U.S. Auto sales in February are expected to rise steadily as
it did in the past three years. The two major automobile
information websites, TrueCar.com and Edmunds.com have projected
light-vehicle sales of 1.2 million units for the month, which
implies a 4%-6% year-over-year increase.
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Based on this projection, seasonally adjusted annualized rate
(SAAR) of sales is expected to go up to 15.7 million units from
15.3 million units in January. According to TrueCar, the
estimated February SAAR is the highest since 2007.
TrueCar analyst Jesse Toprak is particularly enthralled due to
the higher full-sized pickup truck sales by small businesses
during the month, despite increasing gasoline prices. Strong
pent-up demand for full-sized pickup trucks is expected to be the
key driving factor of growth in the automotive industry in 2013.
Auto sales in the U.S. grew 14.2% to 1.04 million vehicles in
January. Apart from strong pent-up demand, friendlier banks
contributed to the growth as they offered greater access to loans
on easier terms and with lower interest rates. Further, improving
job market boosted the consumer sentiment to purchase new cars.
Most of the major automakers posted double-digit rise in sales in
Toyota Motor Corp.
) topped all the automakers in terms of sales growth. The company
reported an impressive 26.6% jump in sales to 157,725 vehicles,
driven by strong sales of Camry and Corolla cars.
Among the U.S. automakers,
General Motors Company
) posted a healthy 15.9% rise in sales to 194,699 vehicles in
January, driven by strong Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra
pickup truck sales.
Ford Motor Co.
) sales spiked 21.7% to 165,863 vehicles, driven by impressive
sales of all new Fusion sedan, Explorer sports utility vehicle
and Escape compact crossover.
Among the European automakers,
) posted a 6.6% rise in sales to 29,018 vehicles. It was the
company's best January in the U.S. since 1974. The Korean
automaker Hyundai Motor Co. sales edged up 2.4% to 43,713