DETROIT, April 3 (UPI) -- U.S. auto sales rose sharply in March with Chrysler setting the pace for the second consecutive month, the industry research group Autodata Inc. said.
Sales at Chrysler Group LLC rose 34.2 percent in March compared with the same month a year earlier. At Ford Motor Co., sales were up 5 percent from March 2011. General Motors Co. reported sales up 11.8 percent in March over March 2011.
For all of Detroit's Big Three, increases were strongest with car sales, while light trucks also were moving off the lots in great numbers.
Chrysler's car sales rose 53.1 percent, while its truck sales rose 27 percent. Ford's car sales rose 5.6 percent, while light truck sales rose 4.5 percent. GM posted sales increases of 22 percent and 5.1 percent for cars and light trucks, respectively.
Japan's Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. reported a sales increase of 15.4 percent March to March. American Honda Motors Co. posted a 5 percent drop in sales overall.
Nissan North America Inc. sales rose 12.5 percent, while Hyundai Motor America sales rose 12.7 percent.
Kia Motors America Inc. said its sales rose 30.2 percent with a 56.5 percent increase in car sales and a 9.4 percent drop in light truck sales.