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February Sales Number Depressing for the “Big 8”

March 25, 2014

The U.S. new auto sales results for February are in, and spring can’t get here soon enough for automakers. After the final number of 1,191,037 new vehicles sold was announced, the “Big 8” cringed at missing their projected total of 1.2 million units sold by over 800,000 vehicles. With spring upon us, and the temperatures rising, dealerships around the country are anxious to sell some cars and trucks.

The brutal winter weather has not only affected automakers, but employment, retail and manufacturing numbers as well. Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen, testified before the Senate Banking Committee on February 27, 2014 and blamed “unseasonably cold weather” as the cause of the poor results. Unfortunately, March is nearly over the snow is just now clearing across most of the northern states, so numbers may not see a jump until April.

Nissan and Chrysler managed to finish with double-digit, year-over-year growth. Chrysler was able to do it in part because of Jeep, whose consumers were prompted by the harsh weather to buy 4X4s. Nissan also was able to continue their growth which may at least be partially due to Nissan's strong customer base in the Southern and coastal regions, where the weather has been temperate.

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