The year started off stronger than expected for the top U.S. auto makers, despite a massive snowstorm and fewer selling days in the first month of the year. Bobbi Rebell reports.
2016 started off as another strong year for the auto industry. January sales in the U.S. at the six top-selling automakers topped expectations of forecasters polled by Reuters. There had been concerns that a massive east coast snowstorm and fewer selling days in the month would have had more of a negative impact. But Kelley Blue Book's Rebecca Lindland says the good news makes sense: SOUNDBITE: REBECCA LINDLAND, SENIOR ANALYST, KELLEY BLUE BOOK (ENGLISH) SAYING: "People are sitting there in their homes with really old cars and trucks, and they need to be replaced, and they have got great interest rates going on. We still have a lot of really good incentives, so I wasn't at all surprised, actually." She adds that despite the stock market turmoil, consumers feel good about the U.S. economy. Sales rose half a percent at top-seller General Motors. Sales fell about two and a half percent at Ford. They company said, while it was hurt by the snowstorm, sales picked up at the end of January. Fiat Chrysler sales were up seven percent. That was its 70th straight month of year-over-year increases. Lindland and other analysts expect 2016 sales to top the record numbers set in 2015.