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Edmunds sees U.S. February auto sales down 1 percent vs year ago

Reuters

DETROIT (Reuters) - U.S. auto sales will show a 1 percent decline in February from a year earlier, industry consultant and car shopping website Edmunds said on Thursday.

Edmunds estimated that February U.S. sales would be 1.33 million vehicles, for a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 17.6 million. That sales rate is close to the 2016 full-year sales of 17.55 million vehicles, as reported by Autodata Corp.

Sales are expected to be 17 percent higher on a volume basis from January, which had sales of 1.14 million vehicles.

General Motors Co's <GM.N> sales are seen rising 5.7 percent, while Ford Motor Co's <F.N> are expected to decline by 3.4 percent, Edmunds said.

Automakers in the U.S. market report February sales on March 1.

GM was the only automaker among the top eight companies by sales in the U.S. market expected to report improved sales from last February, Edmunds said.

GM's stronger sales are because of more generous incentives, said Jessica Caldwell, executive director for industry analysis at Edmunds. Discounts are especially strong for Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks, Caldwell said. The Silverado is GM's highest-volume model.

Edmunds said Fiat Chrysler Automobiles <FCAU.N> <FCHA.MI> sales will fall 9.5 percent, and that Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T> new vehicle sales in February will drop 4.4 percent.

(Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

 

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