The auto industry reported strong gains in U.S. sales in February, despite rising gasoline prices.
Almost 1 million new cars and trucks were sold nationally in February, a jump of 27 percent compared with the same month a year earlier.
Toyota reported a 41.8 percent rise in February and General Motors posted a 46.4 percent gain.
The Chevrolet Cruze was among the models that helped GM boost sales in February.
GM's sales gain is impressive, especially considering that the Detroit-based automaker just emerged from bankruptcy protection last year. However, it raised sales incentives by $386 per vehicle, spending an average of $3,732 per unit on incentives, according to news reports. Most other automakers spent only about $3,000 on average. GM will have to show that it can continue to grow sales without relying too heavily on putting money on the hood.
Chrysler posted a modest sales gain of 12.6 percent in February, but is no doubt hoping the energy generated by its new Chrysler 200 sedan and its cool accompanying "Imported from Detroit" commercials will help it add sales in the future.