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What do Feb. 2007 GM sales gain mean for the auto company and the rest of the Big Three?

Living in the heart of Michigan, it's easy to get caught up in the gloom and doom talk about the future. Plant closings have become so common that they don't seem to make the front page anymore.

Everybody's expecting our state to cross that magic rubicon where it becomes an industrial backwater with China and India outsourcing scraps of work over here.

Then we see the newspaper this morning about the February auto sales and notice that General Motors sales for the month are up 3.4 percent. The Detroit News said:

"A bright spot for the No. 1 automaker was its redesigned Chevrolet Silverado pickup, which saw a 26.5 percent increase and outsold Ford's F-Series pickups to claim the title of best-selling vehicle in America last month."

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The question marking hanging over all this is the increased sales of the Japanese automakers for February where customers really showed their enthusiasm. The Detroit News, in the same story reports:

"Japanese automakers, meanwhile, kept their momentum going in February, with Toyota Motor Corp. sales soaring 12.2 percent, Honda Motor Co. gaining 3.2 percent and Nissan Motor Co. sales increasing 1.2 percent."

Do the February sales figures hold any hope for General Motors or are they just a blip on the radar?