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Mar 2, 2010 4:07 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Toyota's pain is rivals' sales gain in February

Toyota's American rivals have been benefiting from the Japanese automaker's recent troubles.

Despite the snowstorms that plagued much of the country in February, the auto industry reported higher U.S. sales in February -- with the American companies scooping up customers from Toyota, which saw its own U.S. sales fall 9 percent last month.

Ford, GM, Nissan and Honda all reported double-digit sales growth last month compared with a year earlier. The gains might have been even higher had it not been for the blizzards.

Ford posted a 43 percent jump, and outsold GM for the first time in nearly a dozen years. GM saw sales rise nearly 12 percent, and an official says the company is getting its "fair share of the Toyota business."

It was the first full month since Toyota's January decision to stop sales of some of its vehicles in the U.S. becauses of safety concerns.

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