February's automotive sales numbers are slowly rolling in, and we're already seeing that Toyota's recall crisis has severely hurt the company's overall sales. On the other hand, its loss has proved to be a real gain for other automakers, especially Ford Motor Company, sales of which topped not only Toyota's in February, but General Motors' as well.

Both Ford and GM posted healthy increases last month – the Blue Oval folks up by 43 percent and GM up by 12. Toyota, by contrast, was down 9 percent versus February 2009. Keep in mind, not only were new car buyers eager to stay away from Toyota lots, but the automaker was required to stop selling many of its most popular models for a short period of time last month. Camry sales, for example, dropped 20 percent versus last year's numbers.

Ford may be wearing the crown of America's best selling automaker for February 2010, but it's important to note that it only sold 334 more vehicles than GM. We'll see if Ford can hold on to this trend, especially since new products like the 2011 Fiesta will be hitting showrooms in the not-too-distant future and GM has still yet to permanently shed its four non-core brands.

[Source: The New York Times]

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