In February, Chrysler LLC emerged as the discount king, with incentives averaging $5,566 per vehicle. At the other extreme was Honda, which slammed the brakes on production while offering incentives of just $1,249 per vehicle.
Here is a company-by-company summary of February sales:
-- Toyota's sales plummeted 39.8 percent last month compared with the same period a year earlier. Toyota piled on the incentives with little to show for the effort. The automaker's trucks were terrible performers. Tundra sales plummeted 60.2 percent, and Sienna sales plunged 52.6 percent.
-- General Motors' sales fell 53.1 percent, as consumers turned their backs on the company's orphan brands — Saab, Hummer and Saturn. GMAC Financial Services sharply boosted consumer loans to GM customers, but it wasn't enough to stem the automaker's downward sales spiral.
-- Ford sales crashed 49.5 percent, as big trucks — the Navigator, Expedition, Explorer and F series — did especially poorly. Ford also didn't get any boost from relatively new vehicles such as the Ford Flex and F-150 pickup and the Lincoln MKX crossover.
-- Chrysler sales fell 44.0 percent, but the company's virtual production shutdown in January kept a lid on inventories. In a bid to jump-start sales, Chrysler offered spectacular incentives ranging up to $7,755 on the Grand Cherokee, according to Edmunds.com.
-- Honda sales slumped 38.0 percent as the company maintained its just-say-no-to-incentives strategy. Star performers included the Honda Fit and Acura TSX cars. Fit sales actually fell 1.8 percent, and TSX sales dipped 0.1 percent, but everything is relative.
-- Nissan was the best performer among the Big Six, with a sales drop of only 37.1 percent. In an otherwise abysmal month, sales of the Infiniti FX and Nissan Rogue crossovers increased.