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February strong for several vehicle manufacturers

Posted on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 9:40:33 AM

February is shaping up to be a solid month for the auto industry, with strong sales reported and rising new vehicle prices. This means that there is added interest among buyers with access to affordable auto financing, and the growing trend doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

Chrysler Group LLC recently reported that February U.S. sales ticked up 11 percent year-over-year, the best month for the manufacturer since 2007. That includes the Chrysler, Jeep, Ram Truck and FIAT brands, with each posting gains over that time period. Six specific vehicles broke records during the month, such as the Jeep Compass, Jeep Patriot and Jeep Wrangler. 

Overall, the auto industry has experienced a fair increase in new vehicle prices in February, according to Kelley Blue Book. The estimated average transaction price for light vehicles hit $32,160 in the month, up $587 compared to the same time last year. 

"In particular, Honda is seeing the greatest increase this month , thanks to strong numbers from its Acura brand, including the MDX, which jumped 10 percent in February," said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. "Chrysler also revealed higher transaction prices, up nearly 4 percent from last year, on its larger mix of Jeep products and smaller share of Dodge, with the RAM brand also driving the manufacturer's gains."