After a slow start in January and February, March auto sales helped the industry gain momentum and close out the first quarter of 2014 strong. Pent up demand, steady market fundamentals and increased manufacturer incentives combined with warmer temperatures gave consumers the boost they needed to get to dealerships and make their vehicle purchases.
Chrysler and Nissan led the charge, with Chrysler Group reporting a double-digit increase in year-over-year sales. The growing small SUV segment, which now accounts for approximately 18 percent of market share, was also a major factor in driving monthly sales. While the majority of the “Big 8” manufacturers saw modest or above average gains, Honda and Volkswagen closed the month with sales down around 2 percent year-over-year.