US Auto Sales Up 5 Percent As Winter Weather Slows Annual Sales Rate

February US auto sales came up short as severe weather throughout the nation slowed showroom traffic. Though up 5 percent, U.S. vehicle sales were well below the earlier seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of nearly 17 million units.

Toyota showed a healthy 13 percent increase as its latest Camry again topped sedan sales edging out the very competitive Nissan Altima.

General Motors, maintaining a 4 point market share lead ahead of rivals Toyota and Ford, suffered declines at Buick and Cadillac despite strong model line-ups. Chevrolet pickup demand and a 19 percent boost in GMC sales, gave General Motors a 4.2 percent bump for the month.

Ford was down 2 percent as sales of its new all aluminum F-150 pickup were in negative territory and Lincoln sales slid by 7.5 percent.

Fiat Chrysler increased 6 percent on solid Jeep and Ram Truck sales. But even the muscle of Dodge and the charm of the Fiat 500 could not soften respective 15 and 5 percent drops in those brand sales.

Hyundai is strong on pace with Sonata, Genesis and Sante Fe models driving a 7.1 percent February increase.