February Auto Sales Solid, Not Spectacular
The American auto industry posted steady sales gains for the month of February, as executives reiterated their belief the industry sales pace this year will wind up in a range of 15.3 to 15.5 million vehicles.
"We saw some pretty decent sales in showrooms throughout the month," said Kurt McNeil, Vice President of U.S. sales for General Motors. "Obviously, the weather had an impact, but even in places like the Northeast they came back pretty strong in the back half of the month."
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Historically, February is one of the slowest months of the year for auto sales. While the volumes were not big in February, the fact the expected sales rate of 15.3 to 15.5 million vehicles, combined with strong sales in January, suggests the industry sales for the remainder of this year will be relatively strong.
New Car Prices Rising
For automakers, February was yet another month where they were able to raise sales, but also sell their vehicles for a higher price.
According to Truecar.com the average price for a vehicle sold last month was $30,958, an increase of $353 (1.2 percent) compared to February of last year. Prices have been rising in part because of pent up demand by Americans driving older vehicles that they need to or want to replace. The average age for a vehicle in the United States is almost 11 years.
—By CNBC's Phil LeBeau; Follow him on Twitter @LeBeauCarNews