Chrysler Group LLC reported a 34 percent increase in March auto sales, the first major automaker to report sales for a month expected to show signs of a robust recovery for the U.S. auto industry.
It was the 24th consecutive month that the No. 3 U.S. automaker showed a year-on-year sales gain.
Other major automakers will report March sales later on Tuesday, and most expect significant sales gains.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect an annualized sales rate for March of 14.74 million vehicles, which would be a rise from last March's 13.1 million sales rate. Analysts say pent-up demand, easier credit, more fuel-efficient product offerings and mild weather helped boost March sales.
Ford Motor Co
General Motors Co
Mike Jackson, chief executive of the largest auto retailer, AutoNation Corp
(Reporting By Bernie Woodall; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)