U.S. light vehicle sales jumped 17 percent in March despite lower incentives and consumer unease over rising fuel prices and Middle East turmoil.
The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate of 13.1million is just below February's 13.4 million and higher than the 12.6 million SAAR of January and December, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
March sales were hampered as some consumers worried about fuel prices and the Middle East delayed purchases, said Jesse Toprak, vice president of TrueCar.com.
"Some waited. It slowed things down," he said. "It probably took a half million out of the selling rate."
Automakers sold 1,246,668 units in March, compared with 1,066,298 in March 2010.