March auto sales gave the latest indication the steady growth of the American economy is prompting more buyers to go back into showrooms for a new car, truck, or utility vehicle.
Several automakers posted their best monthly sales since early 2007 with particularly strong sport utility and crossover utility vehicle sales.
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"The positives still outweigh any of the negatives out there," said Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales for General Motors. "Housing, jobs, consumer credit, stock market performance are all leading to some good business."
March Auto Sales
- Ford: Up 5.7% vs. estimates of up 3.8% (236,160 vehicles)
- GM: Up 6.4% vs. estimates of up 8.8% (245,950 vehicles)
- Chrysler: Up 5.0% vs. estimates of up 5.9% (171,606 vehicles)
- Toyota: Up 1.0% vs. estimates of up 0.7% (205,342 vehicles)
- Nissan: Up 1.0% vs. estimates of up 2.8% (137,726 vehicles)
Pick-up Demand Growing
With the U.S. housing market improving, demand for new full-size pick-ups also increased in March. Ford sold 67,513 F-Series pick-ups in March, the best March and first-quarter sales for the truck since 2007.