February was one of the best months for U.S. auto sales in recent years. Due to Presidents' Day deals, leap day transactions, and delayed demand from hazardous winter weather, overall sales from major automotive companies have far surpassed industry projections. The high numbers show promise for automotive sales in the U.S, with several analysts saying 2016 could be another record year for the industry. Investors were worried that 2015's prolific sales were to be the industry's peak; now many of them are changing their tune, expecting automotive prosperity to continue well into next year. It is keenly expected that companies based in foreign countries, especially Japan, will be playing a major role in the increased demand and consumption of automotive products in the U.S.
Major automakers posted sales in the hundreds of thousands and beat projected sales-growth percentages by several points. Ford Motor Company had the largest sales growth and margin of victory, with a figure of 20.2% over its 12.6% projection. However, Ford was the only major American company to achieve this feat. Japanese companies had a firm hold on the majority of the market, with Toyota, Honda, and Nissan selling units in the hundreds of thousands and far exceeding their sales expectations. Popular sellers from the country include compact cars and crossover SUVs.
Interestingly, auto sales within Japan have contracted recently, while international trade in the industry has burst through the roof. It is well-known that Japan has been consistently leading auto sales in the U.S. for years now; these figures show that it may continue to do so. The popularity of these vehicles in the U.S. could be attributed to the increasing prosperity of the overall American population, due to decreasing unemployment, low gas prices, and good credit. Automotive sales in the United States have been consistently growing since the 2008 Great Recession, and thanks to Japan, the records set by 2015 transactions do not seem to have stopped just yet.