Tuesday, April 03, 2012
U.S. auto sales climbed 6% in March, boosted by the appeal of small cars.
The consulting firm LMC Automotive predicts U.S. sales of new cars and trucks reached 1.37 million last month, up 6 percent from March of 2011 and the highest number since May of 2008. Industry analysts say sales could run at an annual rate of 14.1 million to 14.5 million vehicles, continuing a strong performance in January and February. Some companies could break sales records.
Chrysler Group said its U.S. sales jumped 34 percent in March on strong sales of Fiat small cars and Chrysler sedans. Ford sales rose 5 percent while General Motors reported a 12 percent increase, led by small and compact cars.
The factors driving sales early in the year continued last month. Americans who couldn't bear a new car payment during the economic downturn are back on the market. They're leaning toward new compacts and sub-compacts to save on gas, although incentives on trucks are good enough to lure buyers who want something bigger.
Read more at OregonLive.com.