Cruze sales rebound as Chevy’s No. 3 car

LORDSTOWN — Domestic deliveries of the Chevrolet Cruze rebounded some in February after experiencing another sharp decline the month before, according to sales figures released Thursday by the automaker.

Still the 12,875 Cruzes sold across the U.S. last month is more than 16 percent less than February 2017, when General Motors sold 15,367 Cruzes.

Numbers from GM showing how many of the Cruzes were made by local workers at the GM Assembly Complex in Lordstown and how many were hatchbacks made in Mexico, but sold in the U.S., were not available.

The 12,875 vehicles moved makes the sedan No. 3 on the list of top-selling Chevrolet vehicles in February — an improvement of one spot from January.

Coming in fourth was the Malibu, which saw 11,890 vehicles sold, while the Equinox finished second with 24,053 vehicles sold. Chevrolet’s No. 1 selling vehicle again was the Silverado with 42,282 vehicles moved.

The automaker sold 10,858 Cruzes in January. That reflected a precipitous drop — 45.6 percent — from sales numbers in January 2017, when GM sold 19,949 Cruzes. The Cruze in December saw a 22.6 percent dip in deliveries to 13,406 from 17,324 in December 2016.

Meanwhile, auto sales were expected to tail off in February as automakers eased up on discounts.

Auto forecasting firm LMC Automotive predicted a 2 percent drop from last February for what is normally one of the weakest sales months of the year. Others forecast an even steeper decline. Among major automakers, only Toyota, Subaru and Volkswagen reported sales gains over last February.

General Motors Co. sales fell just under 7 percent to 220,905. Sales were dragged down by the Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck, GM’s top-selling vehicle. Silverado sales were off more than 16 percent from a year ago, when the company had record February sales of SUVs and pickup trucks. GMC and Chevrolet sales were down for the month, but Buick and Cadillac sales rose.

Here are some other details regarding February sales:

• Ford Motor Co. sales also fell 7 percent to 194,132. Ford said its car and SUV sales were down, but sales of the F-Series pickup — its biggest seller — inched up 3.5 percent. Ford brand sales were down 6 percent while luxury Lincoln sales plummeted 23 percent.

• Toyota Motor Corp. sales rose 4.5 percent to 182,195 vehicles. Sales of its top seller, the Camry sedan, jumped 12 percent as an updated version went on sale. Luxury Lexus sales also rose 5 percent.

• Fiat Chrysler’s sales fell 1 percent to 165,903. Jeep brand sales jumped 12 percent and Alfa Romeo sales were also up, but Ram truck sales fell 14 percent because of a drop in fleet buyers. Chrysler, Dodge and Fiat sales also fell on low consumer demand for cars.

• Nissan Motor Co. sales fell 4 percent to 129,930. Demand for Nissan cars fell 17 percent but truck and SUV sales were up 9 percent, led by the Rogue small SUV. Nissan’s luxury Infiniti brand saw sales fall 7 percent.

• Honda Motor Co. sales fell 5 percent to 115,557. Sales of its best-seller, the CR-V SUV, dropped 19 percent despite a recent redesign. Luxury Acura sales were up 1 percent.

• Hyundai Motor Co. sales fell 13 percent to 46,095 as higher sales of SUVs failed to make up for declining car sales. Genesis luxury sales also slid 14 percent.

• Subaru brand sales rose 4 percent to 47,209. Sales of its newly redesigned Crosstrek SUV jumped 61 percent.

• Volkswagen brand sales rose 6 percent to 26,660. Volkswagen is introducing more SUVs as consumers shift away from cars; sales of its Touareg midsize SUV were up 14 percent in February.