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New Car Sales in the United States See a 2 Percent Drop in February

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Car Sales

February is not usually a peak time for new car sales; in fact, it tends to be a slow time in automotive sales. Even so, the month of February saw quite the drop in sales.

Last February, United States’ new car sales rolled in at around 1.3 million vehicles across all automotive brands. Those numbers dropped by 2 percent this year, with sales coming in at around 1.27 million vehicles. Of all the major automakers, only three brands saw an increase in year-over-year February sales: Toyota, Subaru, and Volkswagen. General Motors saw an overall decrease for their brands; however, their luxury brands – Buick and Cadillac – both saw sales increases.

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According to The New York Times, sales are expected to increase in the summer thanks to discounts from automakers and customers receiving their tax returns. However, Mark LaNeve, U.S. Sales Chief at Ford, says that discounts could be limited. “In the past, heavy discounting has led to overproduction and steep declines in automakers’ profits,” said The New York Times. 

As a whole, the automotive industry is seeing a major bump in SUV sales. Nearly every brand, despite an overall decrease in sales, saw more of their SUVs leaving the lot. Hyundai and Nissan saw overall SUV increases, while brands like Subaru and Volkswagen saw specific models boost in sales, such as Subaru’s redesigned Crosstrek. However, diverting from the overall sales trend, Honda saw a 19 percent decrease in CR-V sales.

According to LaNeve, automaker incentive spending decreased significantly this year, which may have contributed to a loss in sales numbers.

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News Source: The New York Times