US Auto Sales Bounce Back After Winter Slump

March came on like a lion for the US auto industry with a 6 percent overall upswing. Recurring attacks of the Polar Vortex through January coupled with the reduced selling days of February, resulted in major car brands incurring double-digit sales slides.

Subaru and Chrysler led the rebound with 21.3 and 13 percent increases respectively. Ford edged up 3.3 percent while Toyota came in just under 5 points higher than last year. Nissan was up 8.3 percent on sales of the new Rogue.

General Motors, fully engulfed since early February in the crisis over a faulty ignition switch linked to 13 deaths, saw a healthy 4.1 percent March sales increase.

The harshest critics found GM CEO Mary T. Barra’s congressional testimony this week to be evasive and lacking in candor, a pronounced view in Europe, where the auto industry is mired in an epic slump.

More objective assessments see Ms. Barra following a carefully planned response strategy that both takes responsibility -– likely at a substantial cost –- while positioning this dark episode as a ritual cleansing, reinforcing her pledge to run the new GM with full transparency and integrity.

This George Polgar of GT Marketing for KYW News Radio.

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