GM sales jump 49 percent for February

Discounts, financing options help fuel 49 percent increase in sales figures for February

By Craig Trudell

Bloomberg News

Published: Tuesday, March 1 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

"We have two finance sources now that are healthy, aggressive, are providing our dealers and customers with a wider range of financing options, and a little bit of competition is good," Johnson said. "We knew that would add to our retail share performance this year."

Toyota Motor Corp. may say sales climbed 27 percent, the average of four analysts' estimates. The world's largest automaker suspended U.S. sales and production of eight models early last year as it recalled millions of vehicles for unintended acceleration defects.

Toyota's share of the U.S. market fell to 12.8 percent in February 2010, the lowest since July 2005, according to Autodata.

Ford, the second-largest U.S. automaker, may report a 6.5 percent gain in February sales, the average of six estimates. It is a "good bet" that Ford lost U.S. market share last month, George Pipas, the Dearborn-Michigan-based automaker's sales analyst, said yesterday in a briefing with reporters.

Ford sold vehicles in the U.S. for $700 to $800 more in January and February compared to a year earlier, while industrywide prices were mostly unchanged, Pipas said yesterday.

Chrysler Group LLC, based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, may say sales rose 6.1 percent, the average of five analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Deliveries at Tokyo-based Honda Motor Co. may have risen 12 percent, and Yokohama, Japan-based Nissan Motor Co.'s sales may have increased 19 percent, according to the average of four analysts' estimates.

Light-vehicle sales in 2010 rose to 11.6 million from a 27-year low in 2009. Deliveries were still 31 percent less than the average 16.8 million annual average from 2000 to 2007, according to Autodata.

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