Automakers Report Big February Sales Gains



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 Updated:
3/2/2011 9:00:00 AM

U.S. auto sales rose in February, with all major car companies reporting double-digit percentage gains, the Associated Press reported.

Automakers said Tuesday that consumers snapped up both cars and trucks, buoyed by a gradually improving economy, with U.S. automakers pointing to strong sales of new models, AP reported.

General Motors Co. led the way with a 49% jump in U.S. sales from a year ago, followed by Toyota Motor Corp., with a 42% gain.

Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. had gains of 32% and 22%, respectively, while Hyundai Motor Co.’s sales rose 28%, AP said.

Chrysler Group LLC and Ford Motor Co. showed smaller increases, with Chrysler’s rising 13% and Ford’s 10%.

Ford’s sales were led by the redesigned Explorer sport utility vehicle;, Chrysler’s by its Ram truck brand, up 81%, and Jeep line, which saw a 23; and GM’s by its full-size pickup trucks, which jumped 65%, AP reported.

Sales were boosted by more generous financing and lease deals, and Ford’s top analyst said its seasonally adjusted sales rate could be the highest since the federal government’s Cash for Clunkers rebates helped increase sales in 2009, AP said.

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