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While there are folks predicting a turnaround in car sales and general economic fortunes by the end of this year, for now the status quo remains, and it can be summed up as: "Ouch." J.D. Power has put the early returns for March sales down 40% compared to the same month last year. It predicts sales of 633,000 cars to retail customers and another 165,000 to fleet customers for March of this year versus a March 2008 total of 1.07 million total sales. That would be an annualized rate of 9.2 million

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We usually don't post on monthly sales number aside from our mega By The Numbers post that appears at the beginning of each month, but clearly news that sales at Ford will drop again in March by double digits warrants its own post. Ford's chief sales analyst George Piper told Reuters today that retail sales will fall thanks to weaker demand for the F-150, while fleet sales will continue to drop as expected. Those combined losses will apparently add up to sales that are at least down by 10%, if n

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New models fired up sales for premium brands Mercedes and BMW in March, as the battle for teutonic bragging rights in the luxury segment kicked into high gear.

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March sales in the U.S. for the two German brands showed strong gains, with VW sales up nearly 24 percent while premium brand Porsche posted its best-ever March sales.

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