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Posts Tagged ‘march 2011 car sales’

Small Car Surge Buoys March Sales

Ford tops GM, Toyota slump exceeds expectations.

by on Apr.01, 2011

Hybrid sales up, but Toyota takes a pounding on models like the Tundra pickup.

With gasoline prices creeping upward, small cars flew out of showrooms during March even as prices began to climb.

The overall rate of sales climbed 13% to produce a seasonally-adjusted annual sales rate, or SAAR, of 13.2 million units, which is slight above earlier the industry’s forecasts.  A strong economy, rising employment and heavier advertising schedules also appear to have contributed to the increasing sales.

The month brought several surprises, including a sharp downturn at Toyota and a reversal of the normal pecking order among Detroit makers.

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Ford outsold GM for only the second time since 1998, buoyed by demand for such new models as the 2011 Explorer.  (Click Here for more on the GM-Ford fistfight.) Meanwhile,Chrysler enjoyed its best sales for any month in almost three years while GM still managed to post a double-digit increase. Audi and Nissan reported had record sales, while Honda’s sales increased by 19%.

But after seeming to get momentum moving in the right direction during January and February, however, Toyota took more lumps, overall volume dropping 5.7%, despite a 52% increase in sales of the Prius and stronger than expected sales of the fuel-efficient Corolla.


Ford Outsells GM

March marks only second time since 1998.

by on Apr.01, 2011

Ford was king-of-the-hill in March, outselling cross-town rival GM for only the second time since 1998 thanks to models like the new Explorer.

While March delivered more good news for the auto industry, General Motors took an unexpected shot from its cross-town rival, Ford Motor Co. outselling the domestic giant for only the second time since 1998.

More significantly, Ford was able to best its Big Three rival without GM being crippled by bankruptcy.  When the tables were turned, in February 2010, General Motors was still struggling to dust itself off after emerging from Chapter 11 protection the previous summer.

The race was nonetheless close, Ford dealers reporting sales of 212,777 cars, trucks and crossovers last month, a 19% gain, compared to 206,621 for GM, which was up 11%.

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But GM still had some numbers to crow about.  For the full first quarter, its sales totaled 592,545, compared to 496,720 for Ford.

Meanwhile, GM officials stressed that their retail business grew by 17% in March – and 38% for the entire quarter — a key measure for industry watchers, as sales to individual motorists tend to yield higher profits than fleet business, especially daily rental companies.