March sales tallies strong for Nissan, Ford and Chrysler

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Nissan, Ford ( F ) and Chrysler lead auto industry sale tallies for March as the month's purchases increased nearly 17 percent, the Wall Street Journal reports .

Chrysler's figures, 121,730 cars and light trucks, represent a rise of 31 percent from the same time last year. Ford's 19 percent increase propelled it ahead of General Motors ( GM ), marking the first time that achievement occurred since 1998. Nissan sold 121,141, vehicles, within striking distance to set up intriguing prospects as Q2 is in its nascent stages.

Rising gas prices have influenced American car buyers to explore purchasing smaller options , and Ford's declining truck sales serves as an indicator.

Slackening truck sales also pushed down overall sales at Toyota, the sole major automaker to experience a drop last month.

Ford is set to temporarily idle two plants: a Michigan plant that manufactures Mustangs, which are now oversupplying dealers, and a truck plant in Louisville, Kentucky due to the slowed demand.

Two Nissan plants in Kentucky will idle as will one in Canton, Mississippi and two in Mexico.

Honda sales increased more than 23 percent and Hyundai's shot up nearly 32 percent.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Personal Finance , Business
Referenced Symbols: F , GM

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