Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. said Tuesday it sold 205,342 units in March, up 1 percent from last year.

“We had our best month since Cash for Clunkers in August of 2009,” said Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations for the U.S. subsidiary of the Japanese automaker. “A strong first-quarter close and increased consumer confidence continue to position the auto industry as a leader in the economic recovery.”

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., based in Torrence, Calif., issues a preliminary monthly sales announcement early in the day. A fuller picture of the company’s monthly performance comes out later in the day.

Monthly auto sales reports offer the earliest glimpse of U.S. consumer confidence for the month.

The Japan-based company sold 166,377 vehicles in the U.S. in February, a 4.3 percent rise from the previous year, and 157,725 units in the first month of the year, a 26.6 percent increase.