Ford Motor Co.'s 13% sales gain in February gives it the lead in the US industry. This marks the first time in 12 years that Ford has overtaken General Motors Co.'s monthly sales figure.
In 1998, GM was beaten down by a strike at its Delphi parts unit. But for the fifth consecutive month, Ford has had a sales increase in its home market with a 43% rise in February.
The weakest month in the auto market's financial slump had been February 2009. Last January, the seasonally adjusted annual rate was recorded to be 10.54 million units.
The next month, it dropped to 10.36 million vehicles; however, it's still considerably higher than the 9.1 million cars sold a year earlier. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., which is in the middle of a recall nightmare, did better than how analysts predicted it would fare.
Toyota dropped only 9%. Meanwhile, Chrysler Group, the only other major automaker forecasted to have declining sales, posted an increase of less than a percent.
Subaru's sales rose by 38% and Nissan North America recorded a 29% increase. KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Brett Hoselton, said that despite weather issues, Toyota's recall crisis, and the seasonally weak demand, sales in the first two months of the year "were much better than they could have been."
Hoselton is optimistic that this overall trend in sales will rise gradually in 2010 and into 2011. Last month, Ford's sales of 142,006 light vehicles were 471 more than GM, which advanced 12%. Ever since 1931, GM has been No. 1 annually. [via autonews]