The market for used cars is white-hot, and lists of the best models tend to favor brands like Toyota, Lexus, and Honda. But there are better bets for those who don't want to pay a premium for a reliable ride -- if they're willing to buy American: Increased quality plus compromised reputation equals value.
It was a good month for auto sales despite inclement weather across much of the country and surging oil prices. Cars sold near an annual pace of 13 million vehicles. That would make February the best on record since the "cash for clunkers" rebate program in 2009.
GM models sold smartly despite the steadily rising price of gas. GM says it sold 207,028 vehicles during the month. The increase was driven largely by a 70% jump in retail, or individual consumer, sales.
Major automakers are set to release February sales figures on Tuesday, and analysts expect the reports will show sales improved 20% compared to a year ago. Consumers continued to warm to the slowly improving economy -- so far, despite surging oil prices.
General Motors sales rose 21.8% in January compared to a year ago on strong sales across its lines of passenger cars, "crossover" vehicles and trucks, the automaker said Tuesday. Each of the automaker's four divisions recorded higher sales for the month.
A slowly brightening economy combined with low financing rates and generally stable fuel prices have put consumers in a buying mood. New models, particularly from Ford and GM, are also helping to keep U.S. auto sales on a positive trajectory as 2011 starts.
With U.S. automotive dominance waning, a new moniker has emerged: the "Detroit Three." Still, don't count out Ford, GM or Chrysler. Their post-recession future looks strong, thanks to some agonizing restructuring. Now, they can be profitable selling fewer cars.
The nation's automakers ended 2010 strong, with most reporting higher sales for December. Consumers seemed to put concerns about the U.S. economy on hold and more than offset reduced demand by fleet customers, such as corporations and rental-car companies.
The economy may be less robust than most Americans would like, but that didn't stop many of them from hitting the showrooms in December. That likely propelled auto sales in the final month of 2010 to 1.13 million units, the year's highest levels.
Topping off a week in which Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, VW, Chrysler and Ford between them recalled hundreds of thousands of vehicles, General Motors today announced it is recalling 100,000 SUVs to repair front row seat belts that may come loose in a crash.
It's traditionally one of the slowest months of the year for vehicle sales, but most automakers reported higher U.S. sales in November compared to a year ago, despite continued consumer caution about the slow economic recovery.