Auto sales in northeast Ohio seeing a bit of a hangover after the big Auto Show, down four percent for March of '12 compared to March '11. Local dealers say the new vehicle market continues to be strong nationwide and April's already off to a strong start.
(Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers Association) Sales of new cars and trucks dipped slightly in March of 2012, when comparing the month against the same time period a year prior. Franchised new car and light truck dealers sold 19,625 vehicles in March of 2012 versus 20,449 in 2011, a decrease of four percent, according to figures released today by the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association (GCADA).
“Any time you go up against figures like we generated last year, you are bound to have some numbers that don’t meet last season’s monthly numbers,” said Louis A. Vitantonio, president of the GCADA. “The new vehicle market across the nation remains strong. And with the strong start we have had with April sales locally, we’re confident that the market will continue to grow this year.”
In March of 2011, franchised new vehicle dealers sold 33.33 percent more vehicles than they sold in March of 2010, when sales amounted to 15,351 units. March of 2012 is still an improvement over 2010 by more than 27 percent.
There were some bright spots in the numbers released today by the GCADA. Truck sales in March continued to grow, registering an almost seven percent gain over March of 2011. For the year-to-date, sales of light cars and trucks are up 1.81 percent.
A total of 13 brands posted sales increases for the month when comparing figures to the same period last year. Ford led the way with 3,520 vehicles sold, a decrease of 1.7 percent over March of 2011, but still 989 vehicles more than were sold in February of this year. Chevrolet came in second with 2,994 vehicles sold. Toyota edged out Honda for third with 1,669 vehicles sold in March of this year versus 1,662 for Honda during the same time frame.
Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep continued their strong double-digit growth; Chrysler growing by 58 percent, Dodge growing by 23 percent, and Jeep growing by almost 24 percent for the month.
13 Brands Up in March (‘12 v. ‘11)
The following 13 brands posted sales increases in March 2012 versus March 2011: Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lotus, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Smart, Subaru and Volkswagen.
16 Brands Up Year for the Date
The following 16 brand posted sales increases for the year to date versus the same period in 2011: Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lincoln, Lotus, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Smart, Subaru, and Volkswagen.