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March Sales Hold Strong Despite Fuel Price Worries

More buyers downsizing as gas nips $4.

by on Mar.23, 2012

Improved availability of Japanese products, like the 2012 Toyota Camry, is helping boost March sales.

Sales of new vehicles have remained strong during March as the industry finishes off a robust first quarter – even though some observers had been worried that the market might begin to drag as fuel prices continue climbing towards record levels.

In another sign of strength in the automotive sector, Volkswagen of America has confirmed plans to add 800 jobs at its assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., joining other automakers in adding jobs at assembly plants in the South and Midwest to keep pace with the demand for new vehicles. VW opened that Chattanooga plant last year as part of its plans to rebuild its market share in the US.  (For more on VW’s plans, Click Here.)

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So far this year, sales of VW brand models have increased 40%, officials from the German automaker said this week.

Meanwhile, Kelley Blue Book, KBB, a leading provider of information about new and used cars, estimates new-vehicle sales will reach 1,425,000 units in March.  That works out to a seasonally adjust annual sales rate, or SAAR, of 14.6 million.