DETROIT ( TheStreet) -- Luxury vehicle sales numbers are often like the cars themselves -- pretty from afar, but gaudy and overblown upon further inspection. February's tally was no different.After delaying car purchases and curbing spending during the economic recession, consumers are peeling out of dealerships inside new Buick, Mercedes and Infiniti models. Except for Toyota's namesake brand, U.S. sales of luxury cars rose last month at most automakers. A quick look at the numbers reveals the vehicles living the high life and the cars whose Champagne tastes outstrip their Coors Light demand.
General MotorsBuick ran down its upscale competitors as sales jumped 47%, including a 163% boost from its LaCrosse sedan. Cadillac posted a 32% gain despite flagging sales from each of its mainstay sedan models. If not for significant gains by two Escalade SUV models and a more than 540% sales spike by its SRX crossover, Cadillac's sales would seem as dried up as the Corvette's, which dropped by more than a third.
ToyotaSales of Toyota's ( TM) Avalon fell 65% from 2,100 a year ago to just 732 last month. While sales of Toyota Land Cruisers and FJ Cruiser SUVs fell, Lexus-brand SUV sales rose 5.8% as sales of GX models nearly tripled. Lexus managed a 5.2% increase overall, though a 4.5% jump in car sales was fueled by its LS, the only model to report gains last month.
AudiThis was one of the few luxury labels that actually put some horsepower behind its soaring sales numbers. Audi's 34% increase came on the back of its A3 and A5 models, which more than doubled their sales. In the A3's case, new high-mileage TDI diesel models made up more than half of its take. Sales of A4 and A6 sedans and the Q5 crossover accelerated by double-digit percentages.
NissanThe company's Infiniti division was one of the few luxury labels whose cars carried the day. Infiniti's 11% uptick over February 2009 came as its G series sedans and coupes recorded 25% and 41% gains, respectively -- boosting car sales more than 15%. While sales of Infiniti's QX56 SUV more than tripled in the same period, its EX and FX crossover wagons put a double-digit drag on its truck sales.