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Ford, Honda among February auto leaders

Posted on Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 10:29:26 AM

Auto makers posted the best February sales in 16 years last month, and Ford Motor Co., Honda Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV were the chief beneficiaries of the surge. According to Bloomberg Business, cheap gas, Presidents Day deals and affordable auto financing attracted buyers to these manufacturers in droves.

Ford saw its sales improve by 20.2 percent year-over-year, while Honda saw them climb nearly 12.8 percent and Fiat Chrysler reported an 11.8 percent jump in the same time frame. 

"The American consumer is feeling confident and enthusiastic about buying new vehicles, especially sport utilities and trucks," Michelle Krebs, an analyst for AutoTrader.com, told Bloomberg. "We know it's got to peak at some point and we will have a dip, but we don't think it's this year and we expect next year to be strong."

Steep discounts played a bigger role in February's strong sales than is usual. Forbes, citing data from TrueCar, reported that the average incentive last month was $2,975 per unit - up 11 percent from one year prior. While incentives will inevitably have to hit a ceiling, they, like auto sales, don't look to slow anytime soon. In other words, it's still a great time to purchase a new vehicle.