The website Cars.com estimates sales for February will total about 1.2 million units. That's only slightly more than 1% ahead of last year, but it would be the biggest February sales total in six years.
Industry analysts say weather was a big factor in the lukewarm figures. But those analysts also say March should be a good month for people shopping for cars and trucks. Carmakers are likely to roll out generous discounts to move vehicles that have been sitting on dealers' lots for nearly three months.
GM, Ford and Toyota are reporting U.S. sales declines last month, as much of the nation was hit with snowstorms and frigid temperatures. The country's three top automakers say the month began slowly, but that sales began to recover in the second half. It's a sign that there may not be a broader auto sales slowdown, as had been feared.
Chrysler and Nissan are reporting double-digit gains for the month, but they had to discount some of their key models. Volkswagen, which has been struggling in the United States, reported a 14-percent drop.
Dealer inventories have hit their highest level in five years, putting pressure on companies to clear their lots. To unload the inventory, automakers are offering more discounts. Incentives are the highest they've been in three years.
For February, GM says it sold just over 222,000 cars and trucks, led by the Chevrolet Cruze compact, with sales up almost 22%. But sales of the Chevy Silverado pickup fell 112%.
Ford sold nearly 184,000 vehicles, but sales of cars fell almost 14%. Toyota sales fell 4%.