US Auto Sales Expected to Rise 2 Percent in March; Chrysler sees Double-Digit Gain

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) - Automakers are reporting that new car and truck sales in the United States picked up speed halfway through March and had a strong final weekend.

Among the big gainers last month was Chrysler with U.S. sales increasing 13 percent on demand for Ram pickups and the new Jeep Cherokee SUV.

Subaru's sales were up 21 percent as sales of its new Forester SUV jumped 53 percent.

Nissan's sales were up 8 percent. Ford's rose 3 percent. And Toyota says its American dealers had their two best sales weekends of the year at the end of the month and overall sales rose 5 percent.

On the down side, Volkswagen's sales fell 3 percent, while Hyundai's sales dropped 2 percent. Both have older models that are having trouble competing with newer rivals.

Meanwhile, General Motors warns that its sales data will be later than usual because of a computer issue. Its sales could be hurt by a series of safety recalls in March.

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