Ford takes top spot from General Motors in US sales

Ford outsold GM last month to become America's most popular automaker, according to figures released April 1.

Traditionally the second-placed brand in the US, Ford leapfrogged GM to sell 212,295 vehicles last month, over 5,000 more than GM and an impressive raise of 16 percent.

The last time GM - which includes brands such as Chevrolet, Buick and GMC - ceded top spot to Ford was in February 2010, and before that in 1998, according to Automotive News.

In total, GM sold 206,621 cars during March, an increase of ten percent which the automaker said was thanks to demand for the new Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan.

Despite predictions that March would see the first sales fall in more than seven months, US consumers bought more vehicles than the same period in 2010, pushing sales up by 17 percent - suggesting that the market wasn't as jittery as predicted about oil prices, ongoing unrest in the Middle East and the Japanese earthquake.

Toyota, the third-most popular automaker in the US, announced a fall in sales of six percent, although that figure was on the strong sales of March 2010, when the Japanese brand offered generous incentives.

On March 31, Toyota said that it was raising the price of its models in the US due to a strong yen, and there are ongoing concerns about the availability of its vehicles in the coming months as it struggles with the effects of the aftermath of March's earthquake on its Japanese operations.

Honda saw a 24 percent boost in sales, Chrysler was up a whopping 31 percent and Nissan posted a gain of 27 percent.

America's most popular automakers - March 2011

1. Ford
2. General Motors
3. Toyota
4. Honda (American)
5. Chrysler
6. Nissan

Data from automakers/ Automotive News

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