(UPDATE FINAL) February 2015 U.S. LV Sales Thread: SAAR Falls to 10-Month Low

The U.S. light-vehicle SAAR fell for the third consecutive month, as low temperatures and stocks held sales in check.

John Sousanis, Director, Information Content

March 3, 2015

3 Min Read
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February 2015 Light Vehicle Sales Volume
WardsAuto forecast LV Sales:          1.29 million units
Actual LV Sales:                             1.25 million units

February Light Vehicle SAAR
WardsAuto Forecast LV SAAR:       16.68 million
Current Projected LV SAAR:         16.16 million

WardsAuto tracks light-vehicle (LV) deliveries throughout sales reporting day. Monthly year-over-year change represents the change in daily sales rate (DSR). February had 24 selling days this year and in 2014, meaning DSR % change is equal to year-over-year comparisons of total sales volumes.

OVERVIEW: U.S. automakers sold 1.252 million light vehicles in February, a 5.4% increase in daily sales that left the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate (SAAR) at a 10-month low of just 16.16 million-units.

An earlier WardsAuto forecast called for 1.29 million deliveries but while several automakers reported record February sales, most underperformed consensus expectations.

Historic cold in parts of the country likely played a role in the shortfall, along with lower than expected fleet sales and some inventory shortages of key models.

GM was the No.1 auto seller in February, accounting for 18.5% of sales, followed by Toyota (14.4%) and Ford (14.1%).

The industry's 3.6 million LV sales during the first two months of 2015 are 5.9% above same-period year-ago.

See below for automaker synopses - and related articles for more detailed reports. 

Related Content

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Summary table

UPDATE 1:30 PM ET: Kia joined South Korean sister company Hyundai, recording its best February sales to date, a 6.8% year-over-year gain on 44,030 deliveries, while Subaru  outpaced year-ago by 18.5%, selling 41,358 LVs.

UPDATE 1 PM ET: Hyundai was one of the few automaker's to beat expectations, recording company-best February sales of 52,505, a 7.1% improvement in daily sales. 

BMW also set a record for the month, improving on year-ago by 18.2% as the luxury carmakers delivered 28,921 BMW and MIni-brand LVs. Rival Daimler's deliveries were up a more modest 3.2% on 25,776 unit sales of Mercedes-Benz, Smart, Sprinter and Mitsu-Fuso LVs.

UPDATE NOON ET: Market leader General Motors' sales were up 4.2% on 231, 378 deliveries. The company's best February since 2008 left GM 6.5% ahead of year-ago year-to-date.

Nissan enjoyed its best February ever, outpacing the previous benchmark for the month set last year by 2.3%. The Japanese automaker finished ahead of rival Honda for the second consecutive month, with 118,436 unit sales. 

While Honda's 105,466 deliveries reflected a 5% improvement over a weak year-ago DSR, the company remains in the No.6 spot behind Nissan for both the month and year-to-date. 

Volkswagen brand's 25,710 deliveries reflected a 5.2% decline from year-ago and the brand's worst February since 2011. VW stablemate Audi, meanwhile, had its best February ever, outperforming year-ago by 5.3% on 11,455 sales.

UPDATE 10:10 AM ET: FCA recorded its best February since 2007 on the strength of 162,933 light-vehicle deliveries, a 5.6% year-over-year improvement. The total, however, fell well below WardsAuto expectations, and marked the automaker's lowest year-over-year gain in 55 months.

Ford sold just over 176,000 LVs last month, a 2% drop in daily sales that dropped Ford unexpectedly behind Toyota for the third time in four months. Sales of Ford utility vehicles, cars and F-Series pickups all failed to meet year-ago marks, with sales of the new Transit offering one of the few bright spots on the automaker's lineup this month.

Toyota, meanwhile, quietly outpaced WardsAuto's projection, to likely claim the No.2 spot overall in the market this month, with a 13.3% DSR improvement resulting in 180,467 LV sales.

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About the Author(s)

John Sousanis

Director, Information Content, WardsAuto

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