February 2015 Auto Sales: Winners and Losers

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

Well, another dumpy winter month is in the books. The season that just won’t end is at long last winding down; the light of spring is visible at the end of this frigid tunnel.

Of course if you live in one of the so-called “smile states” February’s chill was probably little more than a newspaper headline, but for vast swaths of North America it’s a great inconvenience and a real threat to life and limb.

Fortunately these conditions didn’t prevent all new-vehicle shoppers from hunkering down at home underneath electric blankets with mugs of hot cocoa and bottles of hard liquor. Nearly 1.2 million people acquired a car or truck last month, 4.8 percent more than purchased in February of 2014. So far for the year, overall deliveries are up just shy of 9 percent, eclipsing 2.2 million for the first two months of 2015.

Undoubtedly sales are moving in the right direction but not every automaker was successful. Here are the sales winners and losers from February.

One brand that seems totally immune to any sort of decline is Jeep. Chrysler’s rough-and-tumble division posted a gain of greater than 21 percent last month. The brand shipped some 55,600 units in February. Their performance for all of 2015 (well, the first two months) exceeds 107,000, which compared to the same time period last year is up by an even 22 percent. One thing’s for certain, people LOVE Jeeps. Do you?

In spite of its sensible reputation and somewhat dour image Lexus’ year-over-year sales grew by 22 percent last month. Dealers fell just five vehicles short of selling 30,000 units in February. For the first two months of 2015 their performance is even better. They’ve moved more than 46,000 cars and trucks, which represents a 26.4 percent gain compared to the same time period last year.

Land Rover sales grew by nearly 28 percent last month. Total sales fell just shy of 5,000 units. Perhaps a lot of snow-bound buyers bought one of these off-road monsters so they could get out and about in the winter weather. For the year, deliveries are up 17.5 percent exceeding 10,000.

Keeping a good thing going, Mitsubishi posted another sales gain last month. The triple-diamond brand’s February sales exceeded 7,500 units. On a percentage basis their deliveries increased by 26 percent compared to the same month last year.

Beating all comers last month was BMW’s MINI division. The British builder of premium small cars posted a greater than 51 percent sales increase. Deliveries exceeded 3,700 units in February. For 2015 their total sales have hit nearly 7,000.

Despite having an appealing and stylish lineup Cadillac’s sales tumbled more than 12 percent in February. Total deliveries at GM’s luxury division clocked in just shy of 12,000. So far this year sales are off nearly 6 percent.

Scion was another sales loser in February. Comparing year-over-year figures this Toyota division’s deliveries were off nearly 15 percent. Overall they’ve sold just 3,864 Scions.

Dodge took a tumble last month, with deliveries falling more than 15 percent compared to the same time period in 2014. Total sales eclipsed 42,000. Regrettably its figures for the year are off as well, nearly 9 percent in fact. All told, Dodge dealers have moved nearly 77,500 cars and trucks in 2015.

What goes up must come down. For many months Maserati posted almost unbelievable year-over-year sales gains, but that trend has run its course. In February its deliveries tumbled nearly 43 percent to 481 units. So far in 2015 dealers moved just 933 vehicles, 33.6 percent fewer than for the same time period last year.

And finally we come to smart, which was the biggest loser in February. Normally that’s a good thing but when it comes to new-vehicle sales it’s quite the opposite. Total deliveries clocked in at a paltry 458 units – a good bit less than Maserati! That performance was off by more than 51 percent compared to February 2014. For the year their sales are down 35 percent at just 950.

[Source: Automotive News]

Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for AutoGuide.com. When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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