February sales reveal industry trends

March 12, 2012 12:00 AM

Automakers reveal sales figures every month, but these statistics can hide some of the more notable trends going on in the industry. Autoblog recently reviewed the February sales numbers and identified some of the trends that buyers exhibited in the most recent month.

The big shift has been toward fuel-efficient vehicles, as gas prices have been on the rise lately. While pickup trucks and SUVs outsold cars last February, this month the balance shifted in favor of cars. Subcompact vehicles like the Nissan Versa and Chevrolet Sonic sold particularly well.

Although crossover and SUVs did not do as well, pickup trucks were on the rise. The Ford F-150, Ram 1500, Toyota Tacoma, Chevy Colorado and Nissan Frontier all improved their sales by more than 20 percent for the month.

Some segments have one dominant vehicle. For example, the Toyota Camry is far and away the best-selling sedan thus far this year. In others, the race is very close. The Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford Explorer are neck-and-neck in terms of SUV sales, separated by just 3,000 vehicles.

Even if a driver has their eye on one of these new cars, it still pays to keep up with auto maintenance. Trading in a vehicle that doesn't need any car repairs can result in a better price.

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