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‘Worrisome’ trends flagged behind US sales momentum

Some industry watchers are concerned that elevated incentive spend, long-term loans and record leasing levels pose a risk to the industry's long-term health. By Megan Lampinen

Overall US light vehicle volumes in March stayed solid at 1.585 million units, especially among those brands with portfolios skewed towards pick-ups and SUVs. Figures from Autodata put the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of sales at 16.46 million units, somewhat south of what has been seen earlier this year and the first dip below the 17-million mark since June. "Overall there is still no reason for concern but we did see numbers come in a little weaker than expected," Alec Gutierrez, Senior Analyst for Kelley Blue Book, told media in a recent sales call.

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