UpdateUS, German automakers report strong US March sales

02 April 2013 22:09  [Source: ICIS news]

(adds sales for Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The Big Three US automakers and most foreign nameplates all reported higher March US sales on Tuesday.

Ford and General Motors reported that sales rose 6% compared with a year ago, while Chrysler saw sales for the month that had one fewer selling days than last year rise 5%.

Ford reported its best monthly sales since May 2007 with total sales of 236,160. Car sales at the No. 2 automaker were flat from a year ago, while sport-utility sales were up 14% and truck sales rose 6%. Ford’s best-selling models were the Fusion, Escape and the Explorer, which saw sales rise 33%, its best month since a redesign in 2010.

General Motors reported total March sales of 245,950 light cars and trucks. Cadillac sales were up almost 50% for the month compared with a year ago, while Buick was up 37%, GMC rose 12%, and Chevrolet sales were basically flat.

Chrysler, the No. 3 automaker in the US, said sales for the month rose 5% from a year ago to 171,606 units. For March, Ram truck sales were up 24%, the Avenger mid-size sedan rose 33% to set an all-time sales record for the model, and Challenger muscle car sales were up 42%.

The better-than-expected sales figures for the month prompted automotive market researcher Edmunds.com to raise its 2013 sales forecast to 15.5m new cars and light trucks, a 6.9% gain over 2012. Its previous forecast was 15m.

Among foreign car makers, Toyota and Nissan said sales rose just 1% in the US, while Honda saw March sales climb about 7%. Among the German luxury nameplates, Mercedes-Benz's March sales rose 6.5%, while BMW sales rose 13.1% and Audi was up 14%.

By: Mark Yost
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