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Throughout The Car Industry

U.S. Auto Sales Up 17 Percent

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On: Tue, Apr 5, 2011 at 3:36PM | By: Tim Healey

U.S. Auto Sales Up 17 Percent

Automotive industry sales numbers for the month of March have been released, and they are pretty good, all things considered. Sales were up 17 percent from March 2010, and the industry is on pace for more than 13 million units sold in 2011. That's still far short of the peak pre-recession years of more than 16 million annual sales, but it's close to the 14-million mark that many consider to be the norm. All this came despite concerns about rising fuel prices and the supply disruptions caused by the natural disasters in Japan.

Kia, Chrysler, and Hyundai all posted large gains, and this was the seventh straight month in which sales saw gains of at least 10 percent.

Ford outsold GM for just the second time since 1998, and Chrysler was up 31 percent as a group, with its Dodge brand leaping by 50 percent.

Toyota was the only major automaker to slip, falling 6 percent year over year.

Overall, sales are up 20 percent for the year in the industry.

These are all good signs, but there is still a chance that rising fuel prices and the problems in Japan could torpedo sales in March and April. And even with other signs of a growing economy—such as a dipping unemployment rate and thawing credit—the automotive industry still isn't out of the woods. However, an aging fleet means that consumers may soon need to start replacing their current rides.

But it has made great strides. If the economy continues to grow and consumer confidence doesn't dip too far, those sales numbers should continue to grow.


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