New-vehicle retail sales in February 2015 are projected to reach 1,033,100 units, which is a 9-percent increase compared with February 2014, according to J.D. Power and Associates.
This is “the first time that February retail sales are expected to exceed 1 million units since February 2002 when sales hit 1.1 million,” according to a company statement.
The retail seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate (SAAR) in February is expected to be 13.5 million units, 1.1-million units stronger than February 2014 and the highest retail SAAR for the month since February 2004 (13.6 million), officials note.
“The industry had a great start to 2015 in January, and that sales momentum continues in February with exceptional growth in retail sales,” says John Humphrey, senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power.
The compact SUV segment is leading the industry in retail sales for a fifth consecutive month, accounting for 15.2 percent of retail sales so far in February, while the midsize car segment continues to struggle, slipping to fourth in sales volume behind the compact SUV, compact car and midsize SUV segments, according to J.D. Power.
Light-vehicle production in January increased 3 percent to 1.3 million units, compared with January 2014. While most automakers worked around the West Coast port strike by using air freight and reducing overtime, there are some cutbacks in production, the company noted.
February 2015 production is expected to drop to 1.3 million units, a 3-percent decline from February 2014.