GM, Ford, Toyota sales fall, weather blamed



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DETROIT (AP) — GM, Ford and Toyota are reporting U.S. sales declines last month, as much of the nation was hit with snowstorms and frigid temperatures.

The country's three top automakers say the month began slowly, but that sales began to recover in the second half. It's a sign that there may not be a broader auto sales slowdown, as had been feared.

Chrysler and Nissan are reporting double-digit gains for the month, but they had to discount some of their key models. Volkswagen, which has been struggling in the United States, reported a 14-percent drop.

Dealer inventories have hit their highest level in five years, putting pressure on companies to clear their lots. To unload the inventory, automakers are offering more discounts. Incentives are the highest they've been in three years.

For February, GM says it sold just over 222,000 cars and trucks, led by the Chevrolet Cruze compact, with sales up almost 22 percent. But sales of the Chevy Silverado pickup fell 112 percent.

Ford sold nearly 184,000 vehicles, but sales of cars fell almost 14 percent. Toyota sales fell 4 percent.

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APPHOTO NYBZ118: FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2014 file photo, 2014 Chrysler Fiat 500L is displayed during the media preview of the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place in Chicago. To unload the inventory, automakers are offering more discounts. Incentives are the highest they've been in three years, averaging $2,633 per vehicle in February, according to the TrueCar.com auto pricing site. (AP photo/Nam Y. Huh, File) (7 Feb 2014)

<<APPHOTO NYBZ118 (02/07/14)££

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