March vehicle sales hit slowest pace in two years

"Inventory levels continue to rise, and car makers are feeling pressured to increase discounts in order to spur sales."

Total vehicle sales slid in March from February’s rate of 17.58 million to 16.62 million seasonally adjusted, annualized units. This represents the slowest sales pace in more than two years, NAFCU Research Assistant Yun Cohen pointed out in a NAFCU Macro Data Flash report Tuesday.

“The slowdown might be partially attributed to a major snowstorm on the east coast,” Cohen said. “Higher interest rates and lower trade-in values might have also played a role.”

March’s monthly sales levels were down 0.3 percent from a year ago.

Car sales fell in March to 6.3 million from February’s 6.5 million annualized units. Meanwhile, sales of light trucks fell from 11 million to 10.3 million annualized units.

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