February Sales Seen Up Around 20 Percent

Three usually reliable research organizations agree: When automakers release February sales this coming week, they will be strong. Analysts see a sales increase of about 20 percent, and a SAAR in the 12 million territory.

  • First out of the gate was J.D. Power, which gathers real-time transaction data from more than 8,900 retail franchisees throughout the United States. On February 17, they predicted total light-vehicle sales for February are in the neighborhood of 913,000 units, which would represent a 17 percent gain over February 2010. They expect a total SAAR of 12.6 million units.
  • A week later, Truecar prognosticated similar numbers. They see light vehicle sales in the U.S. to come in at 924,516 units, up 19 percent from February 2010. Their SAAR predictor says 12.5 million units.
  • A day later, Edmunds predicted even better numbers: 937,000 units, up 20.1 percent from February 2010, and a SAAR of 12.64 million.

All say that February started slow, but gained momentum after President’s day and after large parts of the U.S. dug out from a thick blanket of snow.

On the incentive front, now is the time to get deals. Here is Truecar’s incentive spending forecast:

Incentive Spending Forecast


Feb. 2011 Incentives

Change vs. Jan. 2011

Change vs. Feb. 2010

Total Spending








































$ 2,504,025,863

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  • John Horner John Horner on Feb 27, 2011

    12-14 million units per year in the US market is likely the new normal. As we have said here before, the US market is at best a replacement market, not a growth market. New vehicles sold trended above the number of units being scrapped for many years and now there is still an excess of four wheel stock on the market. It is hard to imagine what would bring the US market back to its 17 million or so units per annum old peak.

  • Jaje Jaje on Feb 27, 2011

    Honda has really piled on the incentives as of late. I'm largely surprised Honda is so high and not the lowest. They tend to spend a lot protecting their brand and resale value with low fleet sales (typically only sell to gov't fleets) and giving out industry low incentives. I think the rise incentives is their reliance on light truck sales over cars as their growth seems to be in that area. As for the lease pull ahead - is that included in the overall incentives numbers? That essentially is an extra incentive and can be up to $1k or more depending on the lease.

  • Tane94 are both eligible for federal tax credits? That's the big $7,500 question.
  • Jkross22 Toenail says what?
  • MaintenanceCosts This sounds like old-school GM drama!
  • SCE to AUX It's not really a total re-badge since some of the body parts are unique, and the interiors are quite different.As I mentioned the other day, the Tonale has a terrible name and a dim future.As for the Alfa team - guess what, this is how corporate ownership works. You are part of Stellantis partly because you're not viable as a standalone business, and then your overlords decide what's shared among the products.By the way: That Uconnect infotainment system found in Alfas was originally a Chrysler product... you're welcome.
  • Kurkosdr Someone should tell the Alfa Romeo people that they are a badge owned by a French company now.The main reason PSA bought FiatChrysler is that PSA has the technology to enter the luxury market but customers don't want a French luxury car for psychological/mindshare reasons. FiatChrysler has the opposite problem: they have lots of still-respected brands but not always the technology to make good cars. Not to say that if FCA has a good platform, it won't be used in a PSA car.In other words, if those Alfa Romeo buds think that they will remain a silo with their own bespoke platforms and exclusive sheet metal, they are in for a shock. This is just the start.