GM, Chrysler, Ford report increase in US sales in March - WNEM TV 5

GM, Chrysler, Ford report increase in US sales in March

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General Motors Co. says its U.S. sales rose 12 percent in March on strong demand for fuel-efficient small cars.

The company said Tuesday it sold a record 100,000 cars and crossovers that achieve 30 miles per gallon or better on the highway. It sold 2,289 Chevrolet Volt electric cars, the best month for the Volt since it went on sale in late 2010.

GM said compact and subcompact car sales were up a combined 62 percent thanks to the new Chevrolet Sonic subcompact. GM sold 8,251 Sonics in March. Sales of the Chevrolet Cruze small car were up 20 percent.

Sales of small crossovers also were strong as customers continued to downsize from SUVs. Chevrolet Equinox sales were up 34 percent.

Buick and Cadillac sales were down for the month.

Meanwhile, Chrysler Group says its U.S. sales jumped 34 percent in March on strong sales of its Fiat small cars and Chrysler sedans.

It was the best month for the company in four years as consumers grow confident enough in the economic recovery to buy new cars.

Chrysler says sales of the Fiat 500 hit 3,712, compared to just 500 last March when the car was first on the market. The subcompact

Fiat is growing in popularity as new dealerships open and fuel prices rise.

Sales of Chrysler's 200 and 300 sedans each doubled over last March. Recent revamps to both cars are attracting new buyers.

Jeep brand sales also rose 36 percent on the strength of the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Ford Motor Co. says its U.S. sales rose 5 percent in March on strong demand for the Focus small car.

Ford says it was the company's best March sales performance since before the recession in 2007.

Focus sales were up 65 percent compared to last March, as customers sought out smaller cars with better fuel economy. Sales of the Fusion midsize sedan were up 4 percent, but sales of the subcompact Fiesta fell 34 percent compared to strong sales last March.

Ford says sales of the F-Series pickup, which is the best-selling vehicle in the U.S., rose 9 percent. Truck sales are up as small businesses and construction crews continue to grow more confident about the economic recovery

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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