They say records are made to be broken, and the auto industry broke more than a few last month. Sales for the month of March added up to a number of all-time best months for automakers, like Nissan (+0.39 percent to 126,623) and Subaru (+13.32 percent to 36,701). General Motors reports it had its best March in five years (+6.45 percent to 245,950), Audi (+14.4 percent 13,253) achieved its second-best sales month ever, and some individual models like the Ford Fusion (+6.0 percent to 30,284 units) and Explorer (+32.5 percent to 17,509 units) also set new sales records.

Most automakers made out on the positive side of things, and many that didn't had excuses.

Indeed, even with one fewer selling day in March 2013 versus March 2012 (27 vs. 28), most automakers made out on the positive side of things, and many that didn't had excuses. Lincoln, for instance, down 22.47 percent to 6,825 sales, was still hampered last month by quality concerns with its new MKZ sedan that suppressed availability. That car's production, however, is now where it should be, so Lincoln's numbers should look much better for April. Likewise, Kia saw sales fell 14.57 percent to 49,125, largely due to production constraints on the new Forte. Mitsubishi, meanwhile, which fell 26.17 percent to 5,286 units, is down a few discontinued models compared to last year, but word on the street is that more help is coming, including a new-for-2014 Mirage subcompact.

Also worth noting is how intense the sales battle has become in the midsize sedan segment. Long dominated by the Camry, Toyota's family sedan was knocked off its pedestal last month by the Nissan Altima, which posted 37,763 units sold to the Camry's 37,663. The Honda Accord was right there with 36,504 sales, and the Ford Fusion crept into the mix with its 30,284 units sold. We'll be watching this segment as the year progresses to see if Toyota will keep its crown or lose it to the Altima, Accord, or maybe even the dark-horse Fusion.



*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 27 selling days in March 2013 and 28 selling days in March 2012, so there is a difference between the change in monthly sales volume and the change in average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company. Also, brands are combined and reported as companies only if their sales figures are released jointly.


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  • 171 Comments
      mmm
      • 2 Years Ago
      How about publishing both retail only as well asfleet sales?
      mmm
      • 2 Years Ago
      It would be nice to see % of sales that are retail as well as total !
      • 2 Years Ago
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        Sir Duke
        • 2 Years Ago
        Ford's numbers are on the strength of 2 new models coming online the Fusion 30,284 and the Escape 28,934 are not sustainable. Once the folks who have been waiting on the vehicles are supplied, the numbers will settle back to their norm. Give it another month or so. Focus also has a very strong showing 24,929. GM Vehicle Total - 245,950 Ford Vehicles - 236,160
        Arturo Rios Jr.
        • 2 Years Ago
        I am a Ford guy but I have to admit that your comment is pretty lame. Ford was not saved directly by the Obama administration. However if the other two companies had gone under the knife, Ford too will go bankrupt. Whether they like it or not, the big three need each other to stay in business.
        johnb
        • 2 Years Ago
        The shocking part for me is why aren't they already number one. GM doesn't even offer a car worth owning besides the corvette and a couple of the cadillacs.
          junglejack
          • 2 Years Ago
          @johnb
          im sure you know of what you speak since im sure you own a GM
        Jay-Zeus
        • 2 Years Ago
        Oh look, another 'Government Motors' post.
        junglejack
        • 2 Years Ago
        only one brand true but a dozen different models , probably more models than GM\'s excellent cars and trucks
        riserburn99andre
        • 2 Years Ago
        Too bad GM inched away from them overall. Year to Year GM was ahead around 8k last year now they are almost 10k ahead. Fail thred
      caddy-v
      • 2 Years Ago
      On behalf of Cadillac owners and fans worldwide I would like to take this opertunity to thank the notorious \"Laser\" for all the criticism of Cadillac over the past years. Everytime he denigrates Cadillac, sales go up. Well done, Laser.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @caddy-v
        [blocked]
          wooootles
          • 2 Years Ago
          CTS and ELR coming up, new big RWD car in the near future, and (here's the big one, literally) Escalade due for a refresh as well. Caddy's future looks good.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @caddy-v
        [blocked]
      gop.hates.america
      • 2 Years Ago
      GM at top again. Must be a sad day for conservatives. I can see GOPtards coming up with lame excuses of why this is happening. Laser, I'm looking at you.
      bluemoonric
      • 2 Years Ago
      Buick and Cadillac must have had some big fleet orders. I can't believe those are real increases in retail sales.
        le9193
        • 2 Years Ago
        @bluemoonric
        You're right, the ATS clearly is doing nothing for sales for Cadillac-which has been increasing in sales month over month since it was introduced... Guess awards, such as North American Car of the Year means nothing. And Buick---how many fleet sales do they truly even receive? Maybe the Enclave-the highest selling vehicle in it's class, that just was refreshed, and the just on sale Encore is making the difference. Do some research, damn.
        CJ_313
        • 2 Years Ago
        @bluemoonric
        Buick and Cadillac have quite a few new models that debuted recently. Your sarcasm is about 5 years too late, they're both competitive brands now.
      nsxrules
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hey Billyfrombutthead, Toyota #1 in retail sales again (yes that means that if they dumped as many units on fleets as GM they woulf be #1 overall): Toyota Motor Sales No. 1 Retail Manufacturer in March 2013 http://www.pressroom.toyota.com/releases/toyota+lexus+scion+sales+march+2013.htm
        • 2 Years Ago
        @nsxrules
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        billfrombuckhead
        • 2 Years Ago
        @nsxrules
        Yeah, things are so good at TRDyota, they had JIM( aka joe Isuzu) Lenz their best liar out there doing damage control.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @billfrombuckhead
          [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        @nsxrules
        [blocked]
        junglejack
        • 2 Years Ago
        @nsxrules
        hey nix-rules: you\'re taking the tyota kool-aid,,, just tyota propaganda.. i bet you rely on consumer reports too huh?
        richard
        • 2 Years Ago
        @nsxrules
        Yep, toyota down again, must be people are wising up, and not buying those deathtraps anymore.
      gop.hates.america
      • 2 Years Ago
      @Laser "Ford is now getting close to outselling Government Motors" That's great! Another great American company paying decent wages and benefits to its workers. I heard UAW's membership is up.
        Aaron
        • 2 Years Ago
        @gop.hates.america
        yes yomama6xxx, thanks to BILLIONS from the rest of HARD working Americans paying taxes for you slobs
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Aaron
          [blocked]
          richard
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Aaron
          Spies, don`t worry about paying taxes until you get a job.
      Aaron
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh Lordy, End of the month threads always bring out yomama6500, yomama6501, yomama6502, . . . .
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Aaron
        [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Aaron
        • 2 Years Ago
        OMG, poor Yomama got OWNED again.
          Smilez1105
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Aaron
          umm, no, he didn\'t. But you keep looking through those rose colored glasses big guy.
          Aaron
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Aaron
          I forgot, yomama6500-yomama6550 also uses Smilez1105, tiberious1701, and my personal favorite is when yomama blowshard.
      Street King
      • 2 Years Ago
      Look at Cadillac up there, I am thinking the ATS was largely responsible for that gain. Jeep down because no Liberty and no Cherokees to sell yet. Ram is kicking some serious azz. I hope the American brands continue to see what can happen when they invest in their products like they have. No doubt about Toyota, the Camry was beaten in sales by the Altima. People either think its ugly or people are choosing to downsize.
        Sir Duke
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Street King
        Street King: Why would you assume, when it is so easy to check. BTW: The SRX, XTS and outgoing CTS also sold well. ATS........................ 3,587 CTS........................2,791 Escalade..................987 Escalade ESV.........746 Escalade EXT.........211 SRX.......................4,368 XTS .......................3,061 Cadillac Total 15,751
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Sir Duke
          [blocked]
          Aaron
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Sir Duke
          Sure YomamaDuke, if you consider Avis sells.
        Papi L-Gee
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Street King
        I don't know about downsizing since the Altima and Camry are essentially the same size. I will say, though, that the Altima redesign made a huge difference, especially inside.
      postpast
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nice work Caddy! I\'m glad to see that bold design is paying off. With the New CTS and new Escalade to be launched new year; I think its definatly possible they could overtake BMW to be the largest luxury brand. I\'m also rooting for the new Fusion; at the auto show they had a nicely equiped base model for 25G. At that price it blew all the others cars at the show out of the water. I wouln\'t mind seeing that car in every driveway
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