Automakers Report Increased March U.S. Sales, But is the Pace of Growth Slowing?

11 April 2016 Dashboard Insights Blog

Automakers closed out the first quarter with a 3 percent increase over last year’s March sales and 1.59 million cars sold. Some highlights of the 2016 versus 2015 sales numbers include:

  • Nissan: 12.7% monthly increase, 8.9% quarterly increase.
  • Fiat Chrysler: 8.1% monthly increase, 8.9% quarterly increase.
  • Ford: 7.8% monthly increase, 8.4% quarterly increase.
  • Honda: 9.4% monthly increase, 7.1% quarterly increase.
  • GM: 0.9% monthly increase, 0.1% quarterly decrease.
  • Ford and Nissan both had record breaking sales in March.

Ford posted its best March and first quarter U.S. sales since 2006. Ford’s growth was spurred by SUV and truck sales, which were up 16 percent and 9 percent respectively. Nissan sold more vehicles in the U.S. than any other month in its history, with increases in SUVs, pickups, and cross-over vehicles. Toyota, VW, and Mazda all reported quarterly decreases over last year, along with several luxury car brands.

We previously discussed 2015’s record breaking sales on the blog, and whether the auto industry will top last year’s record is yet to be seen. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of new car sales is starting to drop, and analysts predict slower growth moving forward. However, the Fed’s decision not to raise interest rates in March and the continuing low gas prices around the country are positive signs for further growth in new car sales.

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