Counting Cars

March U.S. LV Sales hit 11.8 Mln SAAR- Toyota up 72% from Feb. Did Incentives initiatives fall flat for other OEMs?

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See Ward's U.S. Sales summary table for company by company results. -

TOYOTA DSR JUST 50 BELOW GM'S

CHRYSLER FALLS BELOW YEAR AGO,

NISSAN OUTSELLS CHRYSLER FOR THIRD TIME IN 8 MONTHS

GM BEAT FORD (BARELY)

The U.S. LV SAAR hit 11.8 million units in March - largely on the strength of Toyota's 72% increase in daily sales over February. Toyota's daily sales were just 50 units below market leader GM's DSR, the smallest margin in history between the two automakers.

While a larger total SAAR was expected by most analysts, it would seem that except for Toyota, which launched aggressive incentives in the month , other incentive initiative in the market did little to counter the prevailing negative housing/employment environment, leaving open whether there is anything the industry can do to wag the dog further, or whether it will have to wait for the rest of the economy to turn around first.

Chrysler Group LLC sales were down versus year-ago - 11.8% off last year's daily sales mark, and up just 10% versus February, despite the focus on "truck month" which should have bolstered the truck-heavy Chrysler Group's sales above industry levels.

Instead it is the only auto maker to report so far (other that tiny Suzuki) to post year-over-year decline in sales. It also dipped below Nissan for the third time in the past eight months.

Meanwhile, GM outsold Ford in total vehicles this month after falling behind their Dearborn-based competitor for the first time in over a decade last month. However, Ford Motor Co. sales are up 35.2% over year ago while GM DSR up 16.4% v. yr. ago.

GM is holding back on incentive spending, and was ranked fourth in incentive spending this month - no longer industry leader on $/sale.

However, the strategy, designed to increase avg. transaction price and residual value, will likely cost the automaker market share this month.

Nissan/Infiniti sales were up 37.8%

VW/Audi up 33.4%

Subaru increases sales 40.7%

Jaguar/Land Rover DSR up just 4.2%

See current reported sales summary -

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Blogs and commentary about automotive data, industry trends, and the future of the auto industry.

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John Sousanis

John Sousanis oversees WardsAuto data operations as Director of Information Content, and is Ward’sAuto sales analyst. Follow John on Twitter @CountingCars.  

Haig Stoddard

Haig Stoddard is a veteran automotive industry analyst. His current focus is North America production and longterm sales forecasting.
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