Light vehicle sales in March were up 5.5 per cent from March 2010 and finished at 153,485 units which is a new all time sales record for the month of March.
These strong sales are also reflected in the SAAR which finished the month tracking at 1.67 million units the second highest levels in the last three years.
“We are still a long way from consistently strong sales but the signs of a sustained recovery in the light vehicle market are emerging,” explained Dennis DesRosiers.
“The sales surge was led by the Detroit three who all recorded strong sales gains for the month.”
Ford was number one for the month with sales of 25,511 up 16.0 per cent from March 2010. General Motors was number two with sales of 24,505 up 26.4 per cent and Chrysler/Fiat was number three with sales of 20,794 up 7.2 per cent from the same month last year.
Other notable big gainers included Kia up 21.6 per cent, Land Rover up 18.5 per cent, Porsche up 28.8 per cent, Mercedes Benz up 9.9 per cent, Subaru up 7.9 per cent, Volkswagen up 6.2 per cent, Audi up 5.9 per cent and Honda/Acura up 5.6 per cent.
Several automakers struggled in March including Mazda, down by 29.0 per cent; Toyota/Lexus down by 10.7 per cent; Suzuki down by 39.5 per cent; Mitsubishi down by 12.6 per cent; Volvo down by 6.8 per cent; BMW down by 3.6 per cent; and Nissan/Infiniti down by 0.7 per cent.
The Detroit three (up 15.8 per cent combined) continued to take market share from import nameplate brands (down by 1.8 per cent).
For the year to date the import brands have lost 2.6 points of market share to Detroit although import brands still control 53.2 per cent of the market. And light trucks continue to significantly outsell passenger cars with light trucks up 11.2 per cent and passenger cars actually down by 0.6 per cent. Light trucks now account for 57.9 per cent of sales a new historical record.