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Automakers find better sales with smaller vehicles
Automakers sold an increasing number of small, efficient cars in March, helping continue their steady recovery from the recession.
With unemployment rates falling, more Americans are finding jobs and shopping for new cars. The trend helped to deliver double-digit increases in car leasing
revenue last month for General Motors, Ford, Honda and Nissan.
Much of that revenue came from compact cars, since many buyers move down one vehicle size when they begin to shop for lease specials
after regaining employment.
That tendency has hobbled sales of SUVs, crossovers and large sedans this spring. Compared to last March, Ford sold fewer Taurus full-size sedans, but more midsize Fusion sedans.
Likewise, General Motors reported sinking sales for its Chevrolet Traverse large crossover and a rebound for its midsize Chevrolet Equinox crossover. One of the company's smallest cars was its biggest sales leader, as GM sold 18,018 Cruze compact sedans during the month.
"March sales demonstrated our newest models continue to win over customers," Don Johnson, GM's vice president for U.S. sales operations, said in a release. "Vehicles like the Chevrolet Cruze and Equinox put us in great position to benefit from consumer’s increasing desire for fuel-efficient vehicles."
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