By on February 23, 2012

Forecasters with the benefit of real-time sales data predict that February sales will be up slightly to 1,050,000 units, lifting the Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate (SAAR) to 13.8 million, up 6.4 percent from February 2011. This according to new projections by Kelley Blue Book. GM is predicted as a big loser.


 KBB sales projection, February 2012

Sales Volume Market Share
Manufacturer 12-Feb 11-Feb YOY% 12-Feb 11-Feb YOY
General Motors 195,000 207,028 -5.80% 18.50% 20.80% -2.40%
Ford 165,000 156,232 5.60% 15.60% 15.70% -0.10%
Toyota Motor Corp. 147,000 141,846 3.60% 13.90% 14.30% -0.40%
Chrysler Group 119,000 95,102 25.10% 11.30% 9.60% 1.70%
American Honda 100,000 98,059 2.00% 9.50% 9.90% -0.40%
Nissan 93,000 92,370 0.70% 8.80% 9.30% -0.50%
Hyundai-Kia 88,000 76,339 15.30% 8.30% 7.70% 0.60%
Volkswagen 40,000 29,315 36.40% 3.80% 3.00% 0.80%
Total (incl non-shown) 1,056,000 993,535 6.30%

February’s winners are seen as Chrysler, Volkswagen, and Hyundai-Kia, in that order. GM is looking with worried eyes at the report. It predicts a 5.8 percent decrease in sales for GM. In a rising market, this would translate to a hefty 2.4 percent decrease in market share if Kelley is right.

KBB segment projection, February 2012

Sales Volume Market Share
Segment 12-Feb 11-Feb YOY% 12-Feb 11-Feb YOY
Mid-Size Cars 188,000 172,081 9.3% 17.8% 17.3% 0.5%
Compact Car 148,000 146,282 1.2% 14.0% 14.7% -0.7%
Compact Crossover 121,000 113,556 6.6% 11.5% 11.4% 0.0%
Full-Size Pickup Truck 118,000 109,677 7.6% 11.2% 11.0% 0.1%
Subcompact Car 63,000 48,714 29.3% 6.0% 4.9% 1.1%
Total (incl non-shown) 1,056,000 993,535 6.3%

Not much change in the segments, except for a rise of subcompact sales. The subcompact segment remains small.

Kelley Blue Book, which had called January correctly, thinks that the annualized sales pace will slow after April, when pent-up demand is satisfied. Says Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book:

“From a pure volume perspective, in the months ahead sales will continue to exceed last year’s figures, but this year there may be more volatility from month-to-month than in 2011.Sales were remarkably flat from May through November 2011, due to the production woes faced by Toyota and Honda. Now that they are producing vehicles at full capacity, a return to traditional seasonal patterns is likely through 2012.”

If you are looking for deals, look for them amongst the domestics. Dealers of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler have more than 80 days’ supply of vehicles available on average. Toyota, Honda and Nissan are slightly up to more than 50 days’ supply. Hyundai and Kia are short of cars with only a 30 days’ supply of vehicles on average. Domestics spent more than $1,000 per unit more on incentives in January compared to their Japanese and Korean counterparts, a trend that will continue in February.


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23 Comments on “February Predicted To Be Up 6.3%, GM To Get It On The Chin...”

  • avatar

    The dealers says Chrysler Jeep Dodge, but the car advertised is neither of those. In fact so is many of the cars in the background. Don’t have Chryslers or Jeeps or Dodges to sell?

    • 0 avatar

      Nah, that’s just a photo of Mr. Lang’s lot!

      • 0 avatar

        That’s Spring, Texas, a very nice town outside of Houston. My In-laws lived there for a number of years. It was nice for my kids, as the in-laws didn’t live too far away from the local water park. We would sometimes go over to the Kemah area along the Gulf, very nice area.

        Not a bad place to end up, if you can handle the humidity from the Gulf. Not for me, though…

      • 0 avatar


        No, that area isn’t for me. I had all the humidity I could handle when at Lackland AFB in basic training!

        St. Louis is much worse than Cincinnati, too.

      • 0 avatar

        +1 about Spring, Texas.

        Nice ‘burb of Houston, north, on I-45. Close to the great Piney Woods and Lake Conroe, and a bit further to Lake Livingston.

        Great place if you like both being close to the urban core of a city and the huntin’ and fishin’ and four-wheelin’ life style.

      • 0 avatar
        Steven Lang

        No. I am not that heavy with GM’s at the moment.

  • avatar

    Based on these GM sales figures – and last week’s report that Opel is losing money – today’s reported GM-Peugeot alliance seems a bit, well, scary.

    Perhaps PSA Peugeot Citroen can have a clause in the agreement that forces GM to buy them out or pay a settlement.

    Oh, wait…I’ve seen this movie before…doesn’t the European company end up with U.S. government money and a failed automaker?

    • 0 avatar

      There was another movie we’ve seen before. GM paid Fiat about $2B to cover a failed “cooperation” in 2005. And I believe GM had previously paid about $2B for some stake in Fiat in 2000. Sounds like $4B was paid for nothing.

    • 0 avatar

      Unless Gm transfers the Opel tech center/product development to PSA (in return for roughly 20% of the company) and then puts the screws to unions at which point regardless of what happens to opel, small and mid-size car development for china/NA/SA and everywhere else is protected, and if opel goes into bankruptcy, seeing as GM isn’t the majority owner of PSA then PSA can pick up the scraps, despite the negativities, the current management at GM isn’t the old one (and no I was never big on GM)

  • avatar

    There is more pain ahead for GM with gas prices set to hit all time highs this summer. Inventories, IIRC are also at 3 year highs. GM can stop production now and have enough cars/trucks to sell for 3 months!!
    They may fall to 17% market share this year.

    I would be surprised if they can beat last years profits.

    • 0 avatar

      Agree with the more pain ahead for GM. But even if gas prices moderated to near-normal levels for this time of year, GM still has more pain ahead for a variety of reasons.

      I had hoped that GM could stage a turn-around underwritten by the tax payers but major problems re profitability remain with Canada and Germany currently highlighted. We’ll never recoup any of the bail out money bestowed on GM. In fact, it will cost us even more.

      GM is in the same downward spiral it found itself in during 2008 even though the tax payer funded bail out created a temporary bump up for a couple of years after the bail out. There were many reasons why GM died. Most of those reasons still exist today.

      Although the Obama administration is doing its best to buy hundreds of Volt cars and coerce its cronies in industry to do the same, i.e. GE, the simple fact remains that GM still has more liabilities than it can ever hope to zero out with profits. But the tax payers will foot the bill for the $7500 tax deductions, per Volt.

      At this rate GM will need another bail out in the 2013/2014 time frame.

      In retrospect, there was wisdom in bribing Fiat to take Chrysler off our hands. It turned out that nationalizing GM and making it a ward of the nation wasn’t a smart move, except, of course for the UAW, the big winners here. They’re laughing all the way to the bank.

      • 0 avatar

        Most DIP financiers never recover all the monies invested, they only want to minimize the loss of not providing DIP, in most cases it’s large banks (who already had significant loans), in the case of GM it was the US governemnt who would have had dozens of mini-katrinas all accross the middle US.

        This is why ford had been incredibly smart, if bankruptcy had come, all of thier primary debt was held by banks who would have provided the necessary DIP (Ford being relativly healthy with a clear, executed strategy in place wouldn’t have hurt eiher), rather than just watching thier $25 billion go to dust.

  • avatar

    Well VW brought out to the market the US-spec model – Passat. And it`s a winner. GM showed us the new Malibu which is… more euro-spec he passat ( I mean downsized ). I`m not saying it`s a flop… I know that the new Malibu isn`t included in the sales projections but this is a good example of wrong strategy. And they want to keep their market share – good luck with a that. As to gas prices I think GM has enough noteworthy gas – sipping cars, at least more than a few years ago.

    • 0 avatar

      The new Malibu wasn’t really downsized, but dimensions changed. It should have a bigger trunk, and be wider, especially in the back seat, while losing small rear leg room. Far too early to say it was the wrong choice when most people haven’t seen it yet.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    Well, if GM is selling shitty cars like the one in the photo, then no one should be surprised.

    Oh wait, that’s a photo of the old Cobalt that GM doesn’t make anymore.

  • avatar

    My neighborhood Toyota dealer has 11 new 2011 Priuses in stock. I can’t imagine what they’re thinking. They had a sale on them last weekend and sold 17 of the 28 they had left over. Counting 2012s, they have 85 new Priuses, with their next highest stocked car being the Camry at 44 + 3 hybrids. Then they have 39 Tacomas and 32 Siennas. They only have one new Avalon, and it is a 2011. Meanwhile, Tundras in SD tend to be sold before they’re off the car carrier. Priuses are probably the best selling cars in San Diego, and somehow Mossy Toyota feels inclined to hold onto some of them for at least 5 months. Bizarre.

  • avatar

    Are you the ultimate Toyota fanboy who takes inventory at the local dealership? Or in the business?

  • avatar

    I can’t believe anybody buys aTundra. Besides it’s hideous overdone styling, US New and World report rated it the 5th best full-size truck with bad gas mileage, poor metal quality, the “bed bounce deal”, bad ride, rust issues, flimsy tailgate………. the real American trucks kill this thing. Someone said buying a Tundra was like going to Paris or Rome and getting Chinese room service.

    The only thing the Nissan Titan is good for is keeping the Tundra from being the worst full-size truck!

    • 0 avatar

      Hear hear. The tundra and ridgeline fill a very important niche. Not everyone wants a beefed up, masculine, fuel efficient truck that you can put through hell and back. Some guys want to play with the big boys and think these trucks are their ticket. The tundra is perfect if all you haul is hay and don’t mind the ugly styling, abmismal fuel economy or being the butt of jokes.

    • 0 avatar

      Except, of course, that the Tundra is a sideshow for Toyota. GM, meanwhile, is in for a world of hurt if pickup and full-size SUV sales really tank in the coming months.

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