AMERICAN HONDA +24%
A strong month for Honda saw the Accord push past both the Camry and the Chevy Silverado to take the number two spot among all nameplates, behind only the Ford F-series. Additionally, Honda dealers did a great job blowing out the old-model Civic ahead of the new version's arrival, and the CR-V outsold the Toyota RAV4.
Aside from the aforementioned Accord, Civic, and CR-V, other good news for Honda came in the form of the Fit (+49%) and the Insight (+68%) -- buoyed, perhaps, by high gas prices. The biggest disappointment had to be the new Odyssey (-1%) selling no better than the old Odyssey.
RL sales rose 22%, which sounds good until you realize that we're only talking about an increase of 36 cars. The TSX dropped (-9%) despite the addition of the wagon. For good news, look to the MDX (+25%) and the RDX (+27%).
CHRYSLER GROUP +31%
Go Slim Shady! Rapper and Detroit-native Eminem helped Chrysler post a big increase in March, after a relatively weak February.
With sales nearly tripling over the previous month, the Chrysler 200 (Slim Shady's ride) is now doing far better than its Sebring predecessor. The seemingly more deserving 300 (-28%) is down from a year ago, but the revamped version is only just arriving at dealers. That excuse, however, doesn't apply to the revised Town & Country (-17%).
The Charger finally swung to the upside (+45%), as did the Avenger (+93%). All other Dodge models were in positive territory, but the biggest single factor in Dodge's overall increase was the addition of the Durango.
In its first month on sale, Chrysler sold exactly 500 Fiat 500s.
Jeep sold 4000 more copies of the new Grand Cherokee than it did of the old version last year. But the Grand Cherokee was not alone in racking up additional sales: the Patriot added 3000 units, the Compass 2000 units, and the Liberty more than 1000. Only the Wrangler was about even.
The big Ram pickup (+23%) enjoyed another good month in March, surpassing the 20k mark.