March Vehicle Sales Skyrocket Because Automakers Went Nuclear With Incentives

March was the highest month of sales for autos in the US thanks to various incentive programs put forth by the manufacturers and dealers.

According to, excluding August 2009’s Cash For Clunkers program, March 2010 had the highest sales rate since September of 2008.

The reason behind the surge in auto sales Incentives dished out by dealers to play off Toyota’s recalls and negative publicity. As Toyota became villified by the American media for its shoddy vehicles, other automakers (with the exception of Chrysler), saw a significant boost in sales.

Edmunds: analysts predict that March’s Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate (SAAR) will be 12.4 million, up cfrom 10.3 million in February 2010.

“Although this SAAR sounds promising, it’s too early to wave the flag and say that the economy has turned the corner,” CEO Jeremy Anwyl told “Incentives drove sales this month, but those were defensive moves in response to Toyota stepping up incentives and are unlikely to last because inventories are simply not high enough to justify them in the long term.”

Below, a chart from Calculated Risk breaking past sales down.

USLV Sales March 2010

Photo: Calculated Risk

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