SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

March 03, 2011 11:25 ET

Fuel Prices and Excessive Incentives Threaten Auto Recovery

The Bedford Report Provides Analyst Research on Ford & General Motors

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - March 3, 2011) - United States auto sales posted an unexpected gain last month as consumers found it difficult to turn down some significant discounts. According to the industry tracking firm 'Autodata,' the sales rate for February was 13.4 million vehicles on an annualized basis. That was up from a sales rate near 12.6 million in December and January. Many auto manufacturers have warned that sales may take a hit going forward, however, due to surging oil prices. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Major Auto Manufacturers industry and provides research reports on Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) and General Motors Corporation (NYSE: GM). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

www.bedfordreport.com/2011-03-F

www.bedfordreport.com/2011-03-GM

Earlier this week Ford said that its February sales rose 14 percent year-on-year, in part due to strong sales of the revamped Ford Explorer sports-utility vehicle. Ken Czubay, Ford's vice president of US sales cautions that "with oil nearing $100 per barrel and gasoline prices continuing to rise, consumers' consideration for fuel economy once again is taking top billing."

Retail gas prices skyrocketed more than 20 cents a gallon in the last week over concerns that the strife in Libya could cut off that country's oil exports and unrest was spreading to other countries in the Middle East.

The Bedford Report releases regular market updates on the Major Auto Manufacturers Industry so investors can stay ahead of the crowd and make the best investment decisions to maximize their returns. Take a few minutes to register with us free at www.bedfordreport.com and get exclusive access to our numerous analyst reports and industry newsletters

General Motors posted the most significant gain in sales among the major automakers. GM sold more than 207,000 vehicles during February -- up 46 percent year-on-year -- as the company increased the amount it spends on advertising and incentives. GM's Chief Executive Dan Akerson said the company's incentive programs are an attempt to be more agile in the market place and less predictable. Edmunds.com said GM spent an average $3,857 on incentives last month.

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