Demand for trucks, SUVs drives up February sales

DETROIT (AP) Surprisingly strong sales of trucks and SUVs in February have brightened what is usually a lackluster month for the auto industry.

Sales of the Chevrolet Silverado pickup jumped 17 percent from last February to more than 50,500 trucks, while Ford sold nearly 69,000 SUVs - a February record. Nissan said sales of its Rogue SUV jumped 54 percent.

Overall sales of new vehicles had been expected to fall slightly from a year ago, but some automakers performed better than industry analysts expected.

General Motors and Nissan both saw 4 percent sales gains over last February. Volkswagen's sales were up 13 percent and Honda's rose 2 percent. But Fiat Chrysler's sales fell 10 percent, hurt by declining sales of Jeeps. Toyota's sales dropped 7 percent. Ford's fell 4 percent.

Toyota's dropped 7 percent and Ford's were down 4 percent.