Auto makers predicted the annualized new-vehicle sales pace for February will once again surpass 14 million cars and light trucks as it did in January. It would be the first time the industry has seen back-to-back months at that level since April and May of 2008.
Chrysler, which is majority-owned by Fiat SpA of Italy, reported its sales rose 40% in February to 133,521 vehicles. Its truck sales rose 21% from a year earlier, while car sales more than doubled. Ford Motor Co. weighed in with a 14% rise, to 178,644 cars and light trucks, with its Ford brand recording a 14% jump and its Lincoln luxury brand a 16% increase. Sales of the Ford Focus compact doubled.
Sales at General Motors Co. increased 1%, to 209,306 vehicles. Sales of its Chevrolet brand rose 5.8%, helped by its Sonic and Cruze small cars. But GM also saw declines by its Buick and Cadillac divisions. GM said its inventory at U.S. dealers at month’s end stood at 667,096 units, up 7.7% from January.
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