By on March 3, 2014

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Subaru, Nissan and Chrysler were the big winners this month, with GM, Ford, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai-Kia blaming poor weather for their decline in sales for February. Subaru, up 24 percent, seemed unfazed by the cold snap.

N.B: You can now access the full table at Automotive News. Tim Cain will continue with his full segment of sales segment analysis pieces.

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25 Comments on “February 2014 Sales: Sales Flat, As Auto Makers Blame Bad Weather...”


  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    I believe that as the weather gets better, the sales numbers will also rise.

    Surprising was Fiatsler’s Chrysler Division realizing an 11% gain from sales of Jeep vehicles.

    But the weather wasn’t bad in all parts of the US, yet sales were also down in the sunny Southwest of the US.

    • 0 avatar
      billfrombuckhead

      Chrysler is getting very close to passing Toyota. Watch the V6 Eco diesel Ram blow up showroom traffic at Chrysler dealerships and explode sales of other drivetrains and even other vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        TEXN3

        Do you really believe that Bill? An expensive engine option is not going to propel FCA sales over Toyota, GM, and Ford.

        • 0 avatar
          billfrombuckhead

          No, but the heavily increased showroom traffic in America’s most important market segment during a time Ford is switching bodystyles while GM and JapanInc trucks have have failed will propel Mopar over the top. Once they drive these new Rams with their superior ride and interior, they’ll be hooked. Think of the opportunity to switch customers to the great options of Pentastar, Hemi or Cummins.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Bill, your analysis has merit IF the potential BUYING customers do EXACTLY as you say.

            I owned a Cummins RAM and choose to never own another one in spite of what a workhorse it is. The bad outweighs the good.

            Putting a tiny diesel in it may appease a small minority but Fiatsler won’t make any money on them no matter how high they mark them up because most truck buyers will still buy gasoline.

            For those with a real world hauling/towing need the F-series with the Ford diesel or Banks Turbo Diesel is the truck of choice. No two ways about it.

            Also, I am not a fan of tiny diesels in light duty vehicles since I owned a 1972 M-B 220D. Great mileage does not offset the other hassles and higher costs that come along with a diesel option.

            Even though I own a Pentastar Grand Cherokee and it has been good so far, the stigma of Chrysler crap still haunts anyone who had a bad experience with them before.

            Even I am going back to my comfort zone this late in my life, hoping to buy a Sequoia to replace the Grand Cherokee and another Tundra 5.7 to replace my current 2011.

          • 0 avatar
            Dave M.

            If they don’t read CR or TrueDelta. Chrysler still has a ways to go on their reliability. My brother’s ’96 and ’04 Rams have both been troublesome.

            But yes, the new Ram drives well and looks great.

          • 0 avatar
            billfrombuckhead

            And oh, Consumer Reports now recommends the Ram as the best fullsize truck, not TRDyota. Watch Jeep and Ram sales push FCA past TRDyota. Hell, Maserati might provide the winning margin.

            I wish the armchair CEO’s of TTAC had to put their money where their mouth is because you guys keep being wrong about FCA.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      I don’t know why you are surprised Jeep’s sales are so much higher with this weather…

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Because Jeeps are not cheap and for many buyers the payments on them last longer than the bad weather.

        It’s been said that buying a car is 60% need and 40% ego but when it comes to Jeep it should be the other way around since there is usually less need for the capabilities of a Jeep. That’s why the vast majority of vehicles in America are 2WD.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Bad weather would have helped the sales of Subaru and Jeep I would think. Being stuck in snowbound traffic for 20+ hours gives you a lot of time to fantasize about the kind of vehicles that could get you the hell out of that mess

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Exactly – hardly a surprise that Jeep and Subaru have done well in both January and February whilst others (even those with 4×4 SUV’s) have not done as well.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    Subaru has done a pretty good job of, with little to no traditional advertising, satisfying the car people with its WRX derivatives, while knocking it out of the park wit the non-car people – you know, the vast majority of car owners – with safe cars and a marketing campaign that speaks to car owners who aren’t car enthusiasts.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    The February retail sales report I heard as a News McNugget stated that across the various segments, retail sales were down and the only segment that propped up as “strong” was retail sales of home heating energy. In other words, “Check your power bill/home heating oil bill.”

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    From the Detroit News — “Reid Bigland, Chrysler’s head of U.S. sales, said February’s weather was “ideally suited” to prop up Jeep brand sales, which rose 47.4 percent from a year ago to 45,946.”

    Jeep buyers definitely made it to dealerships, despite the challenging winter weather.

    In other news, the Nissan Altima was the top selling car in February.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Subaru has built its brand on the irrational fear of crashing or being stuck in your car. The explosion of AWD options in all brands is based on the same thing.

    • 0 avatar
      TEXN3

      Yes and while my 07 Outback was fun to drive and a vehicle that could do a lot for our family, it was a lemon and just didn’t provide me any confidence that we’d arrive to our destination other than on a flatbed. I’m sure things have changed since then.

      The only thing our Accord can’t do that the Subaru did was wade thru a stream and carry a couple railroad ties.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        There is some truth behind that. I went up a particularly steep hill to a ski resort parking lot a couple weeks ago in my Outback while Sonatas, Camrys and Altimas dug spun around and dug holes with their front tires. The Subaru didn’t even notice.

        • 0 avatar
          TEXN3

          Sucks for them, probably rentals. Michelin X-Ice tires keep our fwd sleigh trundling thru the snow just fine here in Idaho, went x-country skiing last weekend in the Sawtooths.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    Schools in MN have been closed so often this winter due to weather they are having to make them back up to meet Federal requirements. My utility bills the past few months have been pretty ugly like everyone elses. That alone is enough to make people hold off on a big purchase like a new car.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    When it snowed where I live I did my share of advertising for Subaru by driving around stuck cars on hills. Honestly, I could have driven thiers out too, but I doubt that they watched and thought “I need to go to driving school”. Some of them may well have gone and bought a Subaru.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    No snow down here in central Texas (give it a decade though), but AWD is awesome on wet, slick roads. Especially when the road oils first come up…..


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