GM, Ford and Chrysler post strong March U.S. sales gains image

March was another strong month for auto sales in the United States. For the full quarter, GM sales rose 24.1% on-year to 592,545. All of the company’s brands — Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac — gained retail and total market share during the quarter.

GM slashed its incentives and discounts during the month and that hurt its results. Still, the automaker’s newly designed models, such as the compact Chevrolet Cruze sedan, are selling well, especially at the retail level, said Don Johnson, GM’s vice president of U.S. sales operations.

However, for the second time in the past 13 years Ford outsold General Motors Co. Ford’s light-vehicle deliveries in the month increased to 212,295, topping GM’s sales of 206,621, the companies said today.
Ford, the most profitable of the Detroit carmakers in 2010, said its sales rose 16 percent in March from a year ago.

Sales grew 31 percent at Chrysler, to the highest level in nearly three years, and 32 percent at the Korean carmaker Hyundai, which set an all-time monthly record of 61,873.

However, analysts worry that the rising gasoline prices and the uncertainty surrounding the Japan crisis could threaten any recovery in the auto sector.

“The recovery is fragile,” analyst Michelle Krebs said, adding that sales in March weakened later in the month as gasoline prices rose.

please come back later for the complete US auto sales report

photo credit: Reuters pictures