US: March auto sales stronger than expected image

With the long and harsh winter finally over, the third month of 2014 saw a good auto sales rebound, with automakers managing to beat experts forecasts and hinting to an even stronger gain in the months to come.

While in January and February some automakers flopped and others enjoyed an unexpected (for the period) growth, while overall the sales fell from a year ago, this time in March all top five US automakers posted positive results. Gm was first as usual and had a 4% gain, the perennial No.2 – Ford – went up by 3%, Toyota saw a good 5% rise, Chrysler jumped the gun with a healthy 13% and Nissan, the No.5 also posted a very good spike, of 8%.

Just like in the first two months, the first days of March were tough for dealers as the cold weather still ravaged parts of the country, but the second half of the month saw the sales picking up and forecasters now see April and May see even more clients – as those who were deterred will now have the chance to shop their new car.

The overall increase in March for the US auto market was of 5.7%, which translates in an annualized rate of 16.4 million cars – beating an average of 40 estimates from analysts that saw the sales rising only by 2% to an annualized selling rate of 15.8 million units.