US Feb auto sales rise more slowly

OREANDA-NEWS. US automobile sales rose in February for a 12th straight month, as sustained buying interest in light trucks more than countered a slowdown in demand for passenger cars. But the pace of the rise in demand slowed as winter weather deterred buying.

Automobile sales rose by 5pc in February to 1.26mn, according to automotive consultant Autodata. Passenger car sales contracted by 1.4pc to 573,633. Sales of light trucks rose by 11.8pc to 683,986, extending a similar trend throughout all of last year.

"We're still seeing a strong market for trucks and SUVs, especially compact crossover SUVs, which continue to ride an impressive wave of popularity," said Jessica Caldwell, a senior analyst at, which provides analysis and pricing guides for the US automobile industry. "It is likely that the hard-hitting winter weather motivated some buyers to upgrade from their two-wheel drive vehicles."

Auto sales on a seasonally adjusted annual basis eased to 16.23mn in February. But sales still held above the 16mn level for a 12th straight month.