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International Nameplate Automobile Dealers Announce Monthly Sales

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International Nameplate Automobile Dealers Announce Monthly Sales March is Industry's Best Month in Five Years

Alexandria, VA--April 3, 2013: The American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) today released March 2013 sales figures for the international nameplate automobile industry. AIADA represents America's approximately 10,000 international nameplate franchises whose brands accounted for 55.3 percent of all vehicles sold in the United States last month.

AutoData Corp. estimated the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) at 15.27 million, making March the 5th consecutive month with a SAAR over 5 million, something that hasn't happened in 5 years. Sales for all brands, unadjusted for business days, were up 3.4 percent from March 2012, and 22 percent from February 2013.

In total, manufacturers sold 1,452,946 vehicles in March, the industry's best month since August 2007. Sales were boosted by income tax refunds (averaging $2,827), loose credit, and attractive new vehicle models hitting lots. With gas prices about 30 cents lower than a year ago, truck and SUV sales flourished, while hybrids and electric vehicles slipped. The Chevy Volt was down 35.4 percent from March 2012 while the Toyota Prius fell 23 percent. As a whole, international nameplate brands were up 1.6 percent over March 2012.

"March sales indicate a continued pattern of recovery for the industry," said AIADA President Cody Lusk. "Consumer confidence is up, and Americans are looking to replace older vehicles."

In March, international brands accounted for 803,554 units sold, up from 636,912 in February. Asian nameplates occupied 46.3 percent of the market share, up from 44.3 percent in February. European nameplates took a 9 percent share, down slightly from 9.1 percent in February. Domestic brands had a 44.7 percent share, down from 46.6 percent in February.