As the month comes to a close, new-vehicle sales are expected to improve 1.1 percent year-over-year to a total of 1.2 million units, with an estimated 15.4 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), according to’s chief analyst Jesse Toprak. If confirmed, these numbers would reflect the highest sales rate since February 2008.

“As the industry continues to gain strength, February car sales have the potential to reach their highest rate in six years,” said Toprak. “The positive impact of the recovering stock market has been dampened by ongoing severe weather conditions, however year-over-year new-vehicle sales show that the industry is pushing to surpass the mark set in 2013.”

According to Toprak’s analysis, the compact SUV segment is seeing a particularly high increase in demand. “Consumers can’t get enough small SUVs,” said Toprak. “The segment’s market share reached a record high 18 percent this month, up from 15 percent this time last year.”

Key highlights for estimated February 2014 sales forecast:

  • New light-vehicle sales in the United States (including fleet) are expected to reach 1,205,140 units, up 1.1 percent from February 2013 and up 19.3 percent from January 2014
  • The February 2014 forecast translates into a SAAR of 15.4 million new car sales, up 0.5 percent from February 2013 and up 1.0 percent over January 2014
  • Retail sales are expected to account for 79.3 percent in February 2014, down 4.2 percent from February 2013

Automotive sales forecasts for February 2014 for the ‘Big Eight’ manufacturers:

February 214 SAAR sales units

February 2014 SAAR Big 8