Another month of weakly improving auto sales.
February marked the third month in a row that U.S. light vehicle sales exceeded their levels from the year before. But a year ago things were awful, and the improvements have yet to gain much steam. On a seasonally adjusted basis, we’re not making any progress from December.
These overall trends hide big differences across individual firms, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that February sales for Ford were up 43% over the previous year, while those for Toyota were down 8.7%. Perhaps the woes of Toyota were a factor depressing the February total, and perhaps weather also played a role.
Whatever the explanation, auto sales so far this year remain 40% below the average seen for January and February over 2005 to 2008.