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February US LDV Sales Down 41.4%

SAAR Feb 2008 to Feb 2009. Data: Autodata. Click to enlarge.

Light-duty vehicle sales in the US in February plunged 41.4% year-on-year to 688,909 units, according to figures from Autodata. The Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate fell to 9.12 million units, the sixth straight month of SAAR decline.

Passenger car sales were down 38.4% year-on-year, light truck sales were down 44.1%. Trucks nudged past cars for new vehicle share for the month, with a 50.4% share. February 2009 had 24 selling days, compared to 25 the prior year.

GM. General Motors delivered 127,296 vehicles in February, down 52.9% by volume compared with a year ago, driven by a 75% reduction in fleet sales. GM’s car sales compared with January were up nearly 23%, and crossover sales increased 6%, as financing availability continued to improve and slightly more fleet orders were able to be filled. Retail sales for the month were off 43% compared with a year ago in a total industry vehicle market estimated to be the weakest February since 1967.

GM February total car sales of 53,813 were off 50% and total truck sales (including crossovers) of 73,483 were down 55% compared with a year ago.

The newly-launched Chevrolet Traverse posted more than 6,400 vehicles, up 23% from January. Chevrolet’s crossover portfolio of HHR, Equinox and Traverse combined for 11,796 retail sales in February, a 7% increase year-on-year. Malibu retail sales were up 33% compared with a year ago.

A total of 1,087 GM hybrid vehicles were delivered in the month. So far in 2009, GM has delivered 2,010 hybrid vehicles.

Toyota.Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), USA reported month-end sales of 109,583 vehicles, a decrease of 39.9% by volume compared to last February. Passenger car sales were down 36.3% to 64,956 units; light truck sales were down 44.4% to 37,612 units.

There were no gainers year-on-year in the line-up. Sales of the top-selling Camry were down 40.9% by volume to 20,634 units. TMS posted February sales of 11,814 hybrid vehicles, a drop of 47.3% year-on-year. Sales of the Prius dropped to 7,232 units, a decrease of 33.6%.

Ford. Ford, Lincoln and Mercury February US sales totaled 96,044, down 48.2% compared with a year ago. Sales of passenger cars dropped 40.8% to 34,678; sales of light trucks were down 51.6% to 61,366. Within the truck segment, sale of SUVS plummeted 71.4% to 5,439 units.

Ford hybrid sales were off 25.8% to 1,294 units.

Honda. American Honda Motor Co., Inc., posted total February vehicle sales of 71,575, a decline of 38.3% by volume year-on-year. Sales of passenger cars were down 34.8% to 40,960 units. Sales of trucks were down 41.8% to 30,615 units.

There were no gainers in the lineup. Sales of the leading Accord dropped 42.2% to 15,976 units. Honda sold 1,362 units of the Civic hybrid, down 24.7%.

Nissan. Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) reported sales for February of 54,249 units versus 86,219 units a year ago, a decrease of 37.1%.

Sales of the Z sports car totaled 1,452 units in February, a 33.0% increase from a year ago. The Rogue compact crossover saw sales of 5,515 units, an increase of 5.6 percent over the prior year.

Chrysler. Chrysler sales were down 44% to 84,050 units. Car sales were down 64% to 18,786; truck sales were down 34% to 65,264 units. There were several gainers in the lineup. Wrangler sales increased 28% to 9,088 units; and the Journey was up 522% to 4,615 units. Sales of the Dodge Challenger (3,283 units) continue to accelerate, and set a new monthly record.



i wonder if the trend will continue towards 2010


When you look at the drop, its just astounding - although totally understandable given the economy. Makes me wonder who are these 9 million people who feel secure enough in their jobs to go buy a car right now. ;-)

(i wonder if the trend will continue towards 2010)

We'd better hope not...

Nick Lyons

Since automobiles wear out and must be replaced, the current sales drought cannot last forever. A backlog of pent-up demand is building. Which automakers will be around to benefit from the inevitable boom in sales when the economy recovers? And what is the product mix that will sell?

Now is the time to restructure.

100 MPG or BUST

Things look ok to me..I'd like a smaller-is-better future. Note USA's top 3 did below average and Japan's top 3 were above average.

Choose efficiency, mass transit, zero-carbon, or pay the off-shore energy piper.


Why must today's fleet all be replaced? Japan has seen its auto-ownership rate peak and decline. People who move into cities in response to unaffordable fuel may not need or want cars.

People who are driving a lot less today will see their cars last longer, or will fix them instead of replacing them. This is already happening.


Not arguing that this is inevitable, but inside-the-box thinking like "sales must eventually go up" is how we got into the mess we're in.


Nick Lyons

" A backlog of pent up demand is building up" no it is not I am going to tell you why : there is more cars in US than Driving Licenses, people have more cars than they can drive and their wealth is shrinking, the car will step back in it right place in our society (and that's a good thing) means people will use less and own less of it. So trying to rescue all the big threes is foolish, 2 of them are more then enough, much more than enough.


They did a story about how mechanics are repairing lots of older cars and how owners are spending more money on repairs than the cars are worth. They look at putting $1000 into repairing their older car like making two monthly payments on a new one, but the repairs will last for years.

It is the utility value of the car and not the blue book value. If the car blue books for $1500, the use value is much higher. The person might pay $1500 just for tax, license and registration on a new car, but they put $1000 into repairing their old car and it is good for years.

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