Don't Buy Carmakers' Bad-Weather Excuses

January was really cold in the U.S. but that's a lame excuse for why so many automakers missed sales estimates.

Many of the biggest carmakers had a miserable time last month. Ford Motor Co. sold 7 percent fewer vehicles than in January 2013, while General Motors Co.'s sales fell 12 percent. Foreign brands did little better, with Toyota Motor Corp. reporting a 7.2 percent drop and Honda Motor Co. recording a 2.1 percent decline. Executives and some analysts have blamed the weather. That may sound reasonable -- who goes car shopping during a snowstorm or in sub-Arctic temperatures? But don't fall for it. First, it wasn't actually that cold. Second, some other carmakers sold more last month than a year earlier.

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