FCA's performance was buoyed by the Jeep brand, which recorded its best sales month ever while seeing its Cherokee and Patriot each set monthly sales records on a nameplate level. Staying in the family, the Chrysler 200, Dodge Dart and Journey had record-setting months, too, led by an impressive 155 percent year-over-year increase from Chrysler's latest midsize sedan.
Nearly as impressive last month was Subaru, which is riding high on its 40th straight month of sales gains. While it's not quite as long a string of months for Subaru, the Japanese automaker's 10.4-percent increase last month was quite a bit higher than that of FCA, which notched a still respectable 1.7-percent gain.
Continuing the winning trend, Audi reported its 51st straight monthly sales record in the US, though parent company Volkswagen is mired in a wholly different direction, falling 18.2 percent.
Ford, still in the process of ramping up production of its new F-150, was down 3-percent overall in March, though the Blue Oval counters that its decline is due to a reduction in low-profit fleet sales. GM, meanwhile, was down nearly 2.5 percent, with passenger car sales (specifically the Chevy Impala and Malibu) taking the brunt of that drop.
Mini and Land Rover had great months, each posting sales increases of over 50 percent, and Toyota had the biggest gain of all the major auto conglomerates, at almost 5 percent.
A few more noteworthy data points:
- The seasonally adjusted annual rate for 2015 is up past 17 million again, beating analyst predictions.
- BMW, Mercedes and Lexus are all at or near 80,000 total sales so far this year, making the luxury segment a particularly interesting one to watch as the year continues to unfold.
- Trucks and SUVs are still selling in huge numbers, despite the fact that gas prices have been slowly creeping upward in the US.
- There was one fewer selling day in March of 2015 versus 2014, and if you take the daily sales rate into account, several automakers actually performed better than their numbers may initially appear.