U.S. auto sales for March were decidedly mixed as Easter weekend, which usually falls in April, kept auto buyers away from showrooms. Automaker Ford (F) posted an 8 percent year-over-year increase in March U.S. sales to 254,711 vehicles, driven by strength in its F-series pickup line, according to data released Friday. Ford saw its strongest first quarter in ten years. Sales for General Motors (GM) eked out a 0.9 percent gain over the past year, as of March, to 252,128 units. Sales to rental companies were lower in March. Toyota (TM) sales fell 2.7 percent year-over-year to 219,842 units in March. Its luxury Lexus division posted a 2.8 percent decline in sales. Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) reported an 8.1 percent yearly jump in March sales, totaling 213,187 vehicles, buoyed by strength in its Jeep division. Dodge and Ram Truck brands were other bright spots during the month. Shares of Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler lost well over 1 percent on Friday. TheStreet's Scott Gamm reports from Wall Street.
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