Automakers love Leap Year. And why wouldn't they? Who doesn't love an extra day for selling? Actually, it turns out the extra day that Leap Year provides didn't make that much of a difference, as there were 25 selling days in February of this year versus 24 last year. A variance of one day is not out of the norm for any month. Still, sales were so good last month that you'd think each automaker had an extra week.
Like last month, the best performer was again Chrysler, both the brand and company, which saw sales rise 113.87 and 40.39 percent, respectively. The 300 sedan in particular, which just won our most recent comparison test versus the Hyundai Genesis, saw sales rise 480% to 7,670 units versus the same time last year.
Indeed, nearly every major automaker had positive news to report, except for General Motors and Mitsubishi. While Chevrolet posted a positive 5.78-percent increase in sales and GMC a narrow 0.14-percent rise, GM as a whole was dragged down by Buick and especially Cadillac, which reported drops of -11.29 and -27.04, respectively. In aggregate, GM reported a sales gain of just 1.10 percent, though its daily average sales rate was 2.94 percent below February of last year. In other words, GM sold about 254 vehicles less per day on average in February of this year than last.
If we go one level deeper and look at the sales of some individual models, the most interesting numbers were in the small car segment. Both the Chevrolet Cruze and Toyota Corolla have been leading the segment lately, but February saw the resurgence of both the Ford Focus and Honda Civic. Focus sales were up 115 percent to 23,350 units while Civic sales rose 36 percent to 27,086 units. Both vehicles sold more than the Corolla at 22,148 units and Cruze at 20,427 units. And we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that the Mustang finally posted a better month of sales than the Camaro: 7,351 to 6,923.
|BRANDS||Vol. %||Feb-12||Feb-11||DSR* %||Feb-12||Feb-11|
|Jaguar LR NA||31.72||4,277||3,247||26.45||171||135|
|Ford Mo Co||14.36||179,119||156,626||9.79||7,165||6,526|
|Toyota Mo Co||12.39||159,423||141,846||7.90||6,377||5,910|
*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 25 selling days in February 2012 versus 24 selling days in February 2011, so there will be a difference between monthly sales volume and the average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company. Also, brands are combined and reported as companies only if their sales figures are released jointly.