Forget what you may have heard or read. February was not a disaster for U.S. car and light-truck sales, although it was mighty bad for General Motors -- down 12.7 percent -- and Ford Division trucks -- down 10.1 percent.
Yes, sales of 1,253,903 units were down 1.9 percent from last year, but this year's figure was the sixth-highest February.
The seasonally adjusted annual rate climbed to 16.4 million; in January it was barely above 16.0 million. Sixteen million is the new benchmark for annual new-vehicle sales in this country; 16.4 million isn't great, but it isn't all bad.
And February's sales topped January's by 190,528 units, a lot better than the average February upturn.
So the sky hasn't fallen. If March and April don't show barn-burning symptoms, the industry may have cause to worry -- but not yet.
February sales were good despite a wretched winter that seems like it's never going to end. Ask yourself: Can you get excited about buying a vehicle when your nose and toes are frostbitten, and the snow is around your knees? Or if you're a Californian and rainwater is lapping at your door?