Although many rankings remained the same, many things were very much changed in the state of U.S. auto sales in February 2011.
Most notable among the changes is Ford’s rise from the number two spot to number one. This means Chevrolet drops back, not likely too hard a pill to swallow in the light of a 42.9% bump from February 2010. Although it’s early and The Good Car Guy hasn’t completely finished tinkering with the Best Seller lists, it’s not hard to see that part of Ford’s jump was on account of America’s best-selling truck, the Ford F-Series. Up 14.1% in February, the F-Series was toppled by the twinning effect of GMC’s Sierra and the Ford F-Series. Ford Fusion sales, meanwhile, jumped 40.4%. Those are stories for another time, however.
With only three major brands succumbing to falling sales, February 2011 looks a little better than it really was. Don’t take that the wrong way – improvement is an inherently a good thing. But comparing the status of U.S. auto sales with the same period of last year isn’t always so informative. So take a look at a few of this February’s outcomes without the shadow of February 2010. BMW was America’s most popular luxury brand, but only by 240 sales over Mercedes-Benz. Also in the luxury arena, Cadillac topped Lexus. How often have you been able to say that since 1989? Half of the top ten brands were domestics, a figure which leaves three spots in the top ten for Japanese brands and two for Hyundai and Kia. It’s worth noting that, without the Countryman’s 886 sales, Mini sales would actually have fallen 8.8%, although one can imagine a handful of Countryman buyers would’ve been buyers of another Mini. Clubman sales dropped 28.5%, so you see the point.
Back to the top three, Toyota sales jumped 24.4% from January. That’s a far better jump than Chevrolet enjoyed and slightly better than Ford’s 24% improvement.
35 automakers are included U.S. Auto Sales By Brand table below. Mercury is now firmly dead and buried, not a single one was sold in February. The market as a whole improved by approximately 28% compared with the same period one year prior.