Auto Sales Hit Four-Year High


3/2/2012 9:00:00 AM
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U.S. auto sales rose in February to the fastest pace in four years, led by big gains for Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors Co., Bloomberg reported Friday.

Light-vehicle sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 15.1 million, exceeding the 14.2 million pace that had been forecasted by analysts, Bloomberg said.

The rate was the highest since February 2008, when sales ran at a 15.5 million rate, according to Autodata Corp.

Chrysler’s sales jumped 40% to 133,521 while GM’s deliveries rose 1.1% to 209,306 cars and light trucks, beating analysts’ estimates for a 4.8% decline, Bloomberg said.

Ford Motor Co.’s sales rose 14% to 178,644. Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. deliveries each gained 12%, while Nissan Motor Co. sales rose 16%.

Korea-based affiliates Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. combined to increase sales 26% from a year earlier, Bloomberg said.

Volkswagen AG, which is targeting U.S. sales growth of more than 10% this year, said combined deliveries of its namesake and Audi-branded vehicles rose 34% to 39,108.

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