GM said sales fell 1% to 222,104 units, with retail sales down 1%. Ford sales fell 6% to 183,947, with retail sales down 4%. Chrysler sales rose 11% to 154,866 units. Nissan sales rose 15.8% to 115,360 units.
With GM sales down less than anticipated, GM shares were up 7 cents to 36.26 shortly after the opening bell. Ford shares were down 21 cents to $15.18.
The snow benefited Jeep, which recorded its best February ever as sales rose 47% to 45,946 units. "The severe weather has been ideally suited for our legendary Jeep 4x4 capability," said Reid Bigland, Chrysler's head of U.S. sales.
At GM, "weather continued to impact the industry in February, but GM sales started to thaw during the winter Olympic Games as our brand and marketing messages took hold," said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of sales operations, in a prepared statement. "Car and crossover sales were particularly strong at Buick and Chevrolet, and we continue to have a strong mix of pickup sales.
"Despite a slower start to 2014 than most people expected, we look forward to a very successful year, backed by plenty of new products and what should be the strongest GDP growth since the end of the recession," McNeil said.
GM said its incentive spending increased slightly from January "due primarily to the sell-down of older model heavy-duty pickups and large SUVs," but the increase was less than the industry average. It said the average transaction price for light duty pickups held steady while segment share increased from January.