US light vehicle sales for March 2018 were up by 6.3% to 1.65 million units, markedly higher when compared to the same period of last year, and increased 27% m/m over weak February sales.
On the bad side: A snowier-than-normal period in March and an exceptionally poor monthly performance in the stock market did little to hamper sales. There was one additional sales day in March of this year which along with the positive effect of recent tax cuts and reports of buyers deciding to lock-in low-interest rates before anticipated increases later in the year worked to boost consumer interest.
However: Sales for the first quarter of the year are up by only a modest 1.9% y/y to 4.11 million vehicles following sluggish sales in January and February. Results showed a sharp increase in crossover (+27.0%) and small SUV (+45.6%) sales in March with car sales again losing share, down by 9.2% y/y.
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