Clearly, Americans took Clint Eastwood’s pep talk to heart and went out to buy cars in February. That’s one (implausible) explanation for the likely rise in auto sales in February. Truecar.com released its February sales estimates today using transaction data and historical factors, and projected that automakers will post U.S. sales at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 14.3 million, the highest level in four years.
Among the U.S. automakers, Ford (F) is expected to see sales rise to 178,435, up 30.8% from January and up 14.1% from February 2011. General Motors (GM) is expected to report 194,435 sales, up 15.8% from January but down 6.1% from February 2011. Chrysler is expected to see sales rise to 121,195, up 19.8% from January and up 27.4% from February 2011.
ÂThe signs for 2012 point to a great period of recovery for automakers as the industry looks at continued growth through the year, Â said Jesse Toprak, Vice President of Industry Trends and Insights for TrueCar.com. ÂWe are upgrading our 2012 forecast to 14.0 million units based on improving consumer demand, better credit availability, and dozens of compelling new products due to arrive at the dealerships this year. The correlation between the stock market and new vehicle sales proved to be extremely strong once again with both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and new vehicle SAAR reaching their highest levels since May 2008 in February.Â