Ford Up 43% in February, GM Up 12%

Attractive 0% auto loan incentives and affordable monthly lease payments were abundant in February. Industry experts knew that sales would be up slightly over last year, but they also realized the intense snow storms and Toyota’s recall problems would hurt sales a bit. February 2009, a month most would like to forget, was the worst sales month for the automotive industry in 19 years.

Ford offered 0% interest car loans and up to $4,000 off in February across its brands. Ford saw a whopping 43% increase compared to February 2009. Ford also reported it sold 142,285 vehicles in February while GM sold 141,951. This is the first time Ford has outsold GM since August 1998, when GM workers were on strike.

"The strength of our new products and Ford’s leadership in quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value are resonating with customers," said Ken Czubay, Ford VP, U.S. Marketing Sales and Service, in a statement. "The good news is we have even more new products and fuel-efficient powertrains coming this year, and we expect our progress to continue."

Toyota was down 10.6% in February compared to a year ago. Although Toyota tried diligently to ease the fears of U.S. buyers through a television ad campaign, it seems potential buyers are waiting to see how the recall of millions of Toyota vehicles will play out.

February 2010 U.S. auto sales

GM: up 12%

Ford: up 43%

Chrysler: up 0.48%

Mercedes-Benz: up 4.7%

smart USA: down 68.8%

Porsche: up 0.85%

Audi: up 33.6%

BMW: up 16.3%

MINI: up 1.6%

Toyota: down 10.6%

Lexus: up 5.2%

Honda: up 12.2%

Acura: up 16.7%

Nissan: up 31.9%

Infinit: up 10.7%

Hyundai: up 11%

Volkswagen: up 32.6%

Kia: up 9%

Subaru: up 38%

Mazda: up 4%

Suzuki: down 61%

Mitsubishi: down 10.4%