March auto sales on track for 6% increase

Posted on March 23, 2012

Sales of cars and trucks in March are on pace for a 6% increase compared with the same month a year ago, according to forecasting firm LMC Automotive

What’s more, many buyers are snapping up small cars instead of larger cars and trucks, the firm said.

Through the first 18 days of March, subcompact and compact cars accounted for approximately 23 percent of retail sales in the United States.

For the month, LMC Automotive is predicting an annualized selling rate of 14.1 million for the U.S. auto industry. That’s lower than the 15.0 million rate for February but would be the third straight month with a rate above 14 million.

The seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate is a projection of total industry sales for the year based on sales results for the month.

“The first-quarter selling rate has outperformed the annual forecast for sales for the first time since 2008, when the automotive market started to decline,” Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive said in a statement.