Harsh Weather Hampers February Auto Sales | Edmunds

Harsh Weather Hampers February Auto Sales


Just the Facts:
  • U.S. auto sales are expected to increase a mere 0.8 percent in February from a year ago, as harsh winter weather has kept car shoppers out of showrooms, according to an analysis from Edmunds.
  • "When the weather doesn't behave, it has a negative impact on car shoppers who are looking for an easy and smooth process at the dealership," said Jessica Caldwell, an Edmunds senior analyst.
  • Edmunds estimates that 1.2 million new cars and trucks were sold in the U.S. in February.

SANTA MONICA, California — U.S. auto sales are expected to increase a mere 0.8 percent in February from a year ago, as harsh winter weather has kept car shoppers out of showrooms, according to an analysis from Edmunds.

"When the weather doesn't behave, it has a negative impact on car shoppers who are looking for an easy and smooth process at the dealership, so that's why sales will be weak for a second month in a row," said Jessica Caldwell, an Edmunds senior analyst.

She added: "But as the weather improves — a lot like we saw this past week — dealerships will be filled with eager shoppers. The strength of pent-up demand promises to keep sales on the right path as spring approaches."

Edmunds estimates that 1.2 million new cars and trucks were sold in the U.S. in February.

Roughly 5 percent sales declines are projected for General Motors and Ford. Edmunds predicts double-digit sales increases for Chrysler and Nissan, along with a modest increase for Hyundai and a double-digit decline for Volkswagen/Audi.

February has 24 selling days, the same amount as February 2013, but one less than January.

Edmunds says: Showrooms should be bustling next month, due to better weather and pent-up demand.

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