One more day in February wouldn't have done much to salvage yet another bad month of sales for the U.S. auto industry, but it wouldn't have hurt. All of the big automakers saw sales down around 40% or more last month compared to February 2008. Chrysler Co. (-44%), Ford Motor Company (-48.4%) and General Motors (-52.9%) again took the brunt of it, but Toyota (-39.8%), Honda (-38%) and Nissan (-37%) weren't far behind. This just goes to show that the argument about U.S. domestic automakers not selling what people want to buy is bogus, as people just aren't buying across the board.

That said, the same brands that sold well in January have pulled out another one in February. The Koreans both did relatively well with Hyundai down just 1.5% (its Daily Average Sales rate was up 2.6%) and Kia up 0.4% in sales. Subaru, meanwhile, was up a solid 1.4% in sales last month.

What are these brands doing that the others aren't? In Subaru's case, the redesigned Forester is selling like mad, up 107% last month with 5,978 units sold. Hyundai has an extra 1,263 units sold thanks to the all-new Genesis, but the Accent, Elantra and Entourage were all up, as well. Kia, meanwhile, got strong performances from the Amanti (!), Sorento and Sedona, as well as a 341 new Borregos sold last month. A combination of new models, attractive incentives and sales people who are better with the pitch than the next guy are probably all contributing to how well these brands are weathering the U.S. recession.

BY THE NUMBERS - February 2009
Brand Vol. % Change Total Sales 2/09 Total Sales 2/08 DSR % Change Daily Avg. 2/09 Daily Avg. 2/08
Acura -41.5%
7,659 13,084 -39.0% 319
523
Audi -24.4% 4,653 6,152 -21.2% 194 246
BMW -37.5% 12,979 20,775 -34.9% 541 831
Buick -51.5% 6,196 12,768 -49.5% 258 511
Cadillac -52.2% 4,666 9,760 -50.2% 194 390
Chevrolet -54.5% 75,555 166,166 -52.6% 3,148 6,647
Chrysler -62.8%
15,519
41,709
-61.2%
647
1,668
Dodge -38.8%
46,590
76,141
-32.3%
1,941
3,046
Ford -48.8% 84,422 164,915 -46.7% 3,518 6,597
GMC -51.2% 16,204 33,237 -49.2% 675 1,329
Honda -37.5% 63,916 102,313 -34.9% 2,663 4,093
HUMMER -68.7% 1,053 3,362 -67.4% 44 134
Hyundai -1.5% 30,621 31,090 2.6% 1,276 1,244
Infiniti -36.8%
6,359
10,068
-34.2%
265
403
Jeep -32.0%
21,941
32,243
-29.1%
914
1,290
Kia 0.4%
22,073
21,988
4.6%
920
880
Lexus -38.4%
13,108
21,277
-35.8%
546
851
Lincoln -41.2% 5,633 9,573 -38.7% 235 383
Mazda -30.4%
16,401
23,548
-27.4%
683
942
Mercedes -23.5%
14,199
18,564
-20.3%
592
743
Mercury -44.6% 5,989 10,806 -42.3% 250 432
MINI -17.2% 2,826 3,415 -13.8% 118 137
Mitsubishi -50.8%
4,484
9,105
-48.7%
187
364
Nissan -37.1%
47,890
76,151
-34.5%
1,995
3,046
Pontiac -40.7% 14,200 23,935 -38.2% 592 957
Porsche -11.5% 1,518 1,715 -7.8% 63 69
Saab -62.8% 482 1,295 -61.2% 20 52
Saturn -57.2% 6,338 14,801 -55.4% 264 592
Subaru 1.4%
13,089
12,906
5.6%
545
516
Suzuki -60.3% 3,495 8,800 -58.6% 146 352
Toyota -40.0%
96,475
160,892
-37.5%
4,020
6,436
VW -17.5%
13,660
16,556
-14.0%
569
662
Volvo -55.3% 3,356 7,505 -53.4% 140 300
COMPANIES
BMW Group -34.7% 15,805 24,190 -31.9% 659 968
Chrysler LLC -44.0%
84,050
150,093
-41.7%
3,502
6,004
FoMoCo -48.4% 99,400 192,799 -46.3% 4,142 7,711
General Motors -52.9% 127,296 270,423 -51.0% 5,304 10,817
Honda America -38.0% 71,575 115,397 -35.4% 2,982 4,616
Nissan NA -37.0%
54,249
86,219
-34.5%
2,260
3,449
Toyota Mo Co -39.8%
109,583
182,169
-37.3%
4,566
7,287
February 2009 had 24 selling days versus 25 selling days for February 2009