‘Another good month’ — it sounds pretty good

March turned out to be another good month.

Stop a second. Say that again, slowly, and let the sound roll around in your mouth.

Another … good … month.

Not just a good month. Not another month in which you didn’t die. Another good month, one following the previous month, which was, um, pretty good too.

Let’s review March for dealers. Solid sales? Check. Despite generally lower incentives? Check. Inventory under control; used-car sales healthy; credit availability OK and getting better; margins improving? Check, check, check and check.

All this is not to say dealers and automakers don’t have problems. Fuel prices are rising and there’s political turmoil in the Middle East, but those things didn’t really spook U.S. consumers in March. Still ahead is more quake-related woe: all the production halts and, at the very least, spot shortages of vehicles that either are built in Japan or use Japanese parts. For suppliers and automakers in Japan, that pain is acute and immediate.

But on the U.S. retail side of the business, if the choice is this March or any month in 2008 or 2009, it’s a pretty easy decision.

Go ahead. Say it one more time.

Another … good … month.

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