Despite cringing every time a gas station is driven past, with the left-most number on station price signs stubbornly reading $3 or $4 (depending on your locale), American consumers continue to buy cars in record numbers. Auto sales jumped again last month, as the seasonally adjusted selling rate for new vehicles almost hit 15 million. That’s the highest it’s been since February 2008, the early stages of recession.
Check out some of the impressive gains for the auto makers:
- Chrysler Group’s sales were up 40% from last February
- Ford’s rose 14%
- GM’s went up 1% (not a typo…GM claims last February’s sales were inflated due to BIG discounts)
- Toyota and Honda jumped 12% each
- Nissan posted a 16% increase
The increases for specific models and auto types jump out even more:
- Ford’s compact Focus reported rising sales of 115% (That’s 15% more than 100%, or the threshold known as “giving it your all.” (Not to be confused with giving it up.) Ford really Hoosiered this one.)
- Ford and Chrysler pickup truck sales were up 20%, implying people are buying trucks so they can go out and build more things
- The Chevy Volt was purchased 1,023 times in February, doubling sales of 603 in January
General industry signs are also encouraging:
- The average price buyers paid for a new car was $2,000 higher (7%) than last year
- The average age of a vehicle on the road is 10.8 years, the highest on record. People be getting restless with their aged vehicles! With all those geriatrics on the road, there should be plenty of room for new ones.
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