America In February 2011: Return Of The Buyers, Bigtime
“The consumer is back to the showrooms,” said Brian Johnson, an analyst with Barclays Capital to the Los Angeles Times. No kidding. The consumer is back with a vengeance. February new cars sales were up 27 percent on the year. The world’s two biggest automakers report sales increases we thought only possible in China.
GM reports that February sale rose 45.8 percent compared with a year earlier to 207,028 vehicles.
General Motors total sales in the United States rose 49 percent to 207,028 units in February. The number was actually dragged down by fleet sales. Retail sales rose 70 percent – the highest year-over-year gain in the company’s history. Fleet sales for GM’s four brands were 43,900 for the month, a 2-percent increase for the month, with sales to rental fleets down 5 percent.
A similar, but not as pronounced picture at Ford. Retail sales increased 23 percent. Ford hasn’t broken out fleet sales yet, but they appear to be similarly tepid. Ford’s total February sales, including sales to fleet customers, were 156,626, up 14 percent.
Chrysler’s sales increased a sedate 13 percent. Fleet sales are not available yet, but it is a fair assumption that they are likewise down. “Our retail sales were up substantially in February, proof positive that the 16 all-new or significantly-refreshed models we launched during 2010 are resonating with consumers,” said Fred Diaz, President and CEO – Ram Truck Brand and Lead Executive for U.S. Sales.
Toyota surprised delivering sales performance in the same league as GM. Toyota’s U.S. sales were up 41.8 percent to 141,846 units. Toyota branded cars are up 48.5 percent to 128,032 units. Lexus sales are flat from last February.
Complete tableAutomakerFeb. 2011Feb. 2010Pct. chng.2 month
2010Pct. chng.BMW Group19,96318,01311%38,66333,46516%BMW division16,41615,1009%32,32128,26314%Mini3,5032,87122%6,2545,11822%Rolls-Royce44425%88845%Chrysler Group LLC95,10284,44913%165,220141,59217%Chrysler Division12,62816,925–25%22,33327,368–18%Dodge33,56132,9752%57,87552,9289%Dodge/Ram53,85544,18522%91,18975,17021%Jeep28,61923,33923%51,69839,05432%Ram20,29411,21081%33,31422,24250%Daimler AG16,66515,8345%34,30131,27710%Maybach56–17%1012–17%Mercedes-Benz16,17615,3865%33,44930,54510%Smart USA48444210%84272017%Ford Motor Co.156,232142,00610%283,213258,28310%Ford division150,284123,22822%271,459222,85922%Ford/Lincoln/Mercury156,232137,36514%283,213249,51414%Lincoln5,9486,681–11%11,50613,717–16%Mercury–7,456–100%24812,938–98%Volvo–4,641–100%–8,769–100%General Motors207,028141,53546%385,925287,85034%Buick15,8079,12173%29,07619,18252%Cadillac15,7689,27370%28,34917,71360%Chevrolet142,91999,79743%268,308204,89631%GMC32,53420,24261%60,19241,23046%Hummer–296–100%–561–100%Pontiac–84–100%–473–100%Saab–97–100%–608–100%Saturn–2,625–100%–3,187–100%Honda (American)98,05980,67122%174,328148,15018%Acura10,7968,93921%18,75716,07117%Honda Division87,26371,73222%155,571132,07918%Hyundai Group76,33958,05632%141,342110,68128%Hyundai division43,53334,00428%80,74764,50725%Kia32,80624,05236%60,59546,17431%Jaguar Land Rover3,2472,79316%6,4535,38220%Jaguar692761–9%1,6271,39217%Land Rover2,5552,03226%4,8263,99021%Maserati15910453%27320533%Mazda19,38717,05414%33,65432,7483%Mitsubishi6,8934,01972%12,6078,18954%Nissan92,37070,18932%164,217132,76124%Infiniti9,1447,04130%16,54913,75220%Nissan Division83,22663,14832%147,668119,00924%Porsche2,0191,53132%4,4193,31733%Saab Cars North America546––%1,204––%Subaru21,68318,09820%40,54133,70920%Suzuki1,6431,37520%4,2053,41523%Toyota141,846100,02742%257,702198,82330%Lexus13,81413,7870%26,67429,304–9%Scion3,9443,02730%7,2196,06219%Toyota division124,08883,21349%223,809163,45737%Toyota/Scion128,03286,24049%231,028169,51936%Volkswagen29,31524,42720%55,61049,04113%Audi7,7536,21625%15,56512,72622%Bentley101956%1831802%VW division21,46118,11619%39,86236,13510%Volvo Cars North America4,795––%9,071––%Other (estimate)2442411%4884694%TOTAL993,535780,42227%1,813,4361,479,35723%
Data courtesy Automotive News [sub]
Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.
More by Bertel Schmitt
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Ernesto Perez There's a line in the movie Armageddon where Bruce Willis says " is this the best idea NASA came up with?". Don't quote me. I'm asking is this the best idea NY came up with? What's next? Charging pedestrians to walk in certain parts of the city? Every year the price for everything gets more expensive and most of the services we pay for gets worse. Obviously more money is not the solution. What we need are better ideas, strategies and inventions. You want to charge drivers in the city - then put tolls on the free bridges like the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. There's always a better way or product. It's just the idiots on top think they know best.
- Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.
- Carsofchaos The problem with congestion, dear friends, is not the cars per se. I drive into the city daily and the problem is this:Your average street in the area used to be 4 lanes. Now it is a bus lane, a bike lane (now you're down to two lanes), then you have delivery trucks double parking, along with the Uber and Lyft drivers also double parking. So your 4 lane avenue is now a 1.5 lane avenue. Do you now see the problem? Congestion pricing will fix none of these things....what it WILL do is fund persion plans.
- FreedMike Many F150s I encounter are autonomously driven...and by that I mean they're driving themselves because the dips**ts at the wheel are paying attention to everything else but the road.
- Tassos A "small car", TIM????????????This is the GLE. Have you even ever SEEN the huge thing at a dealer's??? NOT even the GLC,and Merc has TWO classes even SMALLER than the C (The A and the B, you guessed it? You must be a GENIUS!).THe E is a "MIDSIZED" crossover, NOT A SMALL ONE BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION, oh CLUELESS one.I AM SICK AND TIRED OF THE NONSENSE you post here every god damned day.And I BET you will never even CORRECT your NONSENSE, much less APOLOGIZE for your cluelessness and unprofessionalism.