WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Total new-vehicle sales in March increased 0.6% vs. a year ago to 1,545,802 units, according to Autodata Corp. March’s seasonally adjusted annual rate increased to 17.15 million units — the highest rate of the year so far — from February’s 16.66 million. The following is a breakdown of sales performance by manufacturer:
BMW: Sales of BMW brand vehicles increased 6.9% over last March for a total of 34,310 units sold in the month. The company credited growing customer confidence as the reason for a strong first quarter for 2015.
Sales of 3 and 4 Series cars increased by 46.6% year-over-year to 14,835 vehicles sold and the 2 Series saw an increase of 124.2%, moving 1,249 units. Mini brand sales increased by 59.2% over last March with the Cooper S and Countryman leading monthly sales.
Chrysler: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles saw U.S. vehicle sales increase by 2% in March. The group sold 197,261 vehicles for the month, its best March since 2007. FCA says it was the 60th straight month of year-over-year sales gains.
The Jeep brand recorded its best sales month ever, up 23% and its 18th consecutive month of year-over-year gains. The Cherokee and Patriot set all-time sales records with the Patriot gaining 41% and the Cherokee increasing 5% year-over-year.
Chrysler brand sales increased 15%, the brand’s best March sales since 2013 and its ninth-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Sales of the Chrysler 200 were up 155% in March, the mid-size sedan’s best monthly sales ever and the largest year-over-year percentage gain of any FCA U.S. vehicle in March.
Dodge Brand sales were off by 24% for the month, down 46,049 units from last March's 60,575. Ram brand sales were essentially flat with an increase of 1% year-over-year. Fiat 500 sales were down 5% for the month.
Ford: Sales were down 3% in March to 235,929 vehicles due to a 13% loss in fleet sales for the month. Non-fleet retail sales, however, were up 1% — hitting the best sales number in 9 years.
F-Series sales were strong, gaining 10% in March with the company’s Kansas City Assembly plant filling upcoming commercial orders. Van sales increased 42%, with 20,281 Transit, Transit Connect and E-Series vans being sold in March.
The new Mustang had sales increase of 36% to 12,663 vehicles representing the car’s best March performance since 2007. Lincoln sales have 7% increased year-over-year as the brand built momentum thanks to a 47% gain in Navigator sales.
General Motors: GM delivered 249,875 vehicles in March 2015, down 2% year-over-year. Fleet deliveries were up 5% and retail deliveries declined 5%. Low fuel prices increased demand for trucks and SUV’s coinciding with the company’s launches of the Colorado and Trax.
Chevrolet and Cadillac, both decreased year-over-year in March while Buick and GMC saw slight gains. The Silverado was GM’s biggest seller, increasing by 7% to 45,193 units for the month while the Equinox crossover SUV was the second best seller at 24,335 units in March.
Honda: Overall Honda sales were down in March declining 5.3% to 126,293 units sold, compared with last March’s 133,318 units. The Honda division was down 5.2% at 111,623 units and Acura was down 5.8% to 14,670 units.
The Honda Fit gained 58% in March on 6,640 units sold. Truck sales gained in March with total Honda truck sales up 0.8% on CR-V and Pilot sales.
Acura MDX and RDX total sales surpassed 9,400 units for the two SUVs. The TLX led all Acura vehicle sales with sales of 3,430 units.
Hyundai: Hyundai Motor America reported its best month of sales ever, selling 75,019 units representing a 12% increase versus last March. The company has seen a 7.5% gain in sales year-to-day, which the company is calling its strongest first quarter ever.
The Genesis saw the largest increase in sales in March, growing 141% year-over-year followed by the company’s sales volume leader the Elantra with a 34% increase.
Mazda: Mazda sales decreased by 8% in March to 32,132 vehicles compared with last March. The refreshed CX-5, Mazda6 and Mazda3 were all up 3% year-over-year combined.
The Mazda6 saw its best month of sales since March 2012 with 7,570 units sold — an increase of 32.1% year-over-year. The CX-5 had its second best month of sales ever with 10,899 vehicles sold.
Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes-Benz reported its best ever March sales of 29,921, increasing 9.2% from the same month last year. As a whole, Mercedes-Benz passenger cars posted a 2% quarterly gain with sales of 49,166 through March. On the light trucks side, volumes increased 18.6% to 28,990.
The C-Class was the sales leader in March with 7,365 units sold, an increase of 43.9% compared with a year ago. The E-class followed with 4,489 units sold followed by the M-Class at 4,023 units. The retail volume of Sprinter Vans increased by 24.2% to 2,379.
Mitsubishi: Mitsubishi sold 9,764 units in March representing an 8.5% increase in sales over this time last year. First quarter sales are also up year-over-year with a 19.9% increase over 2014.
The Outlander Sport crossover was the monthly sales leader with 3,226 units sold for the month followed by the Mirage subcompact with 2,488 units sold. The regular Outlander also saw an increase in sales in March with 1,615 units sold.
Nissan: March was the second best month of sales ever for Nissan, despite a decrease in sales of 2.7% year-over-year to 145,085 units. March was also the best month of sales in company history for Nissan’s trucks, led by gains in the brand’s crossovers Rogue, Murano and Pathfinder.
Rogue crossover sales set an all-time record of 27,418, up 41.2% over the previous year. Sentra sales were up 10.1% over last March to 21,277 units.
Toyota: Toyota U.S.A reported March 2015 sales of 225,959 — an increase of 4.9% from March 2014 on a volume basis. Toyota division moved 194,905 units in March representing 4.4% increase.
Lexus set a new March sales record with a year-over-year increase of 8.6% to 31,054 units. Total light truck sales were up 11.5% to 105,997,which was a March record.
Camry sales topped 40,000 units in March, Corolla sales hit 35,532 and RAV4 sales rose to 25,243. Lexus SUV sales set a new March record, up 23.9% for the month.
Volkswagen: Volkswagen reported sales of 30,025 units in March for a year-over-year loss of 18.23%. The Golf family of cars increased in size with the addition of the Golf-R and SportWagen with family sales totaling 4,643 units, representing an increase of 133.4% over last March.
The refreshed Jetta saw sales fall 26.2% compared with last march to 11,583 units of combined sedan and wagon sales. The Golf GTI delivered 1,997 units for a 97.3% increase.