) -- No question the auto industry is still rolling alone, economic uncertainty be damned. But as always, in February a few cars lagged behind the trends.
February sales results produced a multitude of positive metrics, including this one from the
(GM - Get Report)
sales call: February was the fourth consecutive month with a seasonally annualized adjusted sales rate above 15 million units.
"We have not seen an industry this strong since 2008,' said Kurt McNeil, GM's vice president of U.S. sales operations. "The difference between then and now is that the escalator is heading up, not down." McNeil said sales are on track to meet GM's full-year forecast of 15 million to 15.5 million units.
As for the losers, two of them compete in what is generally viewed as the industry's toughest segment. There, the Chevrolet Malibu showed a decline of 26%. The
(TM - Get Report)
Camry, typically the best-selling U.S. car, showed a decline of 6%. The
Sonata showed a decline of 8%.
Maybe it's just because the
(F - Get Report)
Fusion did so well in the segment, with sales up 28% to 27,875 units. "Mid-sized sedans are the most competitive segment," said TrueCar.com analyst Jesse Toprak. "They're all similar is design and value, so product is not the key differentiator." Rather, he said, it is more important to be the newest vehicle and to offer high incentives, as Ford did in February.
Our list of five not-so-hot cars in February includes two from the mid-sized segment as well as other cars affected by negative factors including rising fuel prices, lack of adequate distribution and supply constraints.