Toyota and Honda Sales Rose in March while Domestic Automakers Continue to Suffer

Toyota’s sales increased 9% last month compared to March 2006. This was largely driven by sales of the new Camry, the RAV4 and the Prius.

The Prius was up 142% to 19,156, its best ever month. This could have been driven by the increased incentives on the hybrid.

Honda’s sales for the month of March were up 11% to 143,392, the third-best month in the history of the company. The Accord, Civic and CR-V all had sales increases, although the Ridgeline and Element had declines of 25% and 18%, respectively.

Although the top two Japanese automakers in the U.S. experienced sales increases last month, the domestic automakers did not fare as well.

Ford sales fell 9% and all of the company’s six brands, excluding Lincoln, experienced sales declines (that does not include Mazda either). Weak truck sales is one of the reasons for the decline in overall sales, although the company did experience a large increase in mid-sized sedan sales. 

GM sales were down 4.2% to 349,867 vehicles compared to 365,375 a year ago. Both Ford and GM  blamed the reduction in rental car sales as a major reason for their sales declines. GM’s fleet sales fell 11.8% last month.

Chrysler Group sales were down 5% to 206,435 vehicles. Although the group had an overall sales decline, the New Dodge Nitro, Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Avenger performed well in March.

Japanese Automakers were not the only automakers to experience sales increases in the U.S. last month. Hyundai and Kia also posted sales records. 

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