March U.S. auto sales are expected to approach a record for the month, and account for the first year-over-year increase in monthly sales so far in 2017. New-vehicle sales in March should top 1.6 million, the highest for the month of March since 2000. The forecast is based on online auto shopping behavior through the first part of March. Automakers in the U.S. market are scheduled to announce March and first-quarter sales on Monday, April 3. Forecasters said the March increase should mean that U.S. auto sales for the first quarter would be about even with the first quarter of 2016.
February 2017 sales were about 1.3 million, down 1.1 percent from a year ago. January sales were about 1.1 million cars and trucks, down 1.9 percent. A strong trend towards trucks and away from cars has also continued this year. The catchall “light-truck” category includes pickup trucks, sport-utilities, minivans and crossovers – that is, carlike trucks or truck-like cars, depending on your definition. In 2016, truck sales gained 7 percent while car sales fell 9 percent. Read more