Ford drops from No. 1 spot but March auto sales still up 38.1%

Apr 05, 2010 | 11:23 AM | Corinna Petry

Ford Motor Co. lost its No. 1 berth in vehicle sales in March, coming in third behind General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc.

Sales of cars and light trucks by the top seven automakers in the United States totaled 902,520 last month, up 38.1 percent from 653,576 in February and 25.8 percent higher than 717,382 in March 2009. First-quarter sales surpassed 2.13 million vehicles, up 15.7 percent from nearly 1.85 million in the first three months of 2009.

Ford sales analyst George Pipas estimated March sales, including medium and heavy-duty trucks, were around 1.1 million vehicles, which would put the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) at 12 million. "This would be the strongest SAAR since September 2008, except for the 14-million unit rate last fall due to 'Cash for Clunkers'," he said. And the estimated industry-wide year-over-year increase "would be the largest since October 2001, when zero-percent financing stimulated sales after the 9/11 terrorist attacks."....

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