After analysts had predicted a 2-percent rise in U.S. sales in February, the actual numbers show a disappointing 0.6-percent improvement over last year. (Sales for the year to date, though, are up 3.8-percent)

Clouding the analysts' crystal ball were big swings in fleet sales for the Big 2, with GM reporting retail sales up 1-percent in February and fleet sales down 11-percent, while Ford headed in the opposite direction, with fleet sales up 11-percent and retail sales down 11-percent. In total, Ford sales were off 4.2-percent in February and GM sales were down 2.6-percent.

Chrysler group sales were up 4.3-percent, no doubt helped along by its 0-percent financing program.

How did other automakers fare? VW brands were on a tear, up 13-percent in February and 19.2-percent YTD. Honda February sales were up 8.7-percent (Civic sales were up 37.6-percent!) for a new sales record, while Toyota also set a new record, with sales up 2.4-percent.

[Source: Automotive News]

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