Another chapter has been written in the comeback story of Chrysler, which reported a 69.7-percent sales increase in March compared to a year earlier. We're starting to wonder, though, what will happen if gas prices continue rising. If consumers begin to shift their tastes back to smaller, more fuel efficient cars, Chrysler will find itself without much to offer. The promising Dodge Dart is coming but not here yet, and Chrysler doesn't offer any passenger vehicles as hybrids or diesels. The Ram HD is of course available with a diesel, but we doubt consumers will flock to it for a respite from rising fuel costs.
Hyundai also had a good month of sales in March. Actually, it had the best month of sales in its history of selling cars in the U.S. Nearly all of its high-volume products are selling well, while the Veloster is picking up momentum and adding all-new sales to the mix. Soon, the completely redesigned Azera will go on sale, which means this new all-time sales record likely won't last long. Its Korean counterpart, Kia, also enjoyed its best month ever.
A couple of automakers who seem to be teetering on the edge of trouble are General Motors and Honda. GM can be happy with positive performances last month from Chevrolet and GMC, but Buick and Cadillac continue to falter and find themselves on the very bottom of our sales chart trends this month. Honda, meanwhile, hasn't seemed to have found its footing as well as rival Toyota, despite both companies reporting that their production lines are completely restored following a year of disruptive natural disasters.
Check out how the rest of the industry did in our monthly sales chart below, and visit our By the Numbers section to see all past months.
*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 28 selling days in March 2012 versus 27 selling days in March 2011, so there will be a difference between monthly sales volume and the 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.