The automaker said it ended the first quarter with 412,285 cars and light trucks in dealer stock or in transit, unchanged from the end of the fourth quarter.
Ford rebounded from a fourth-quarter 2022 decline with sales rising 10 percent in the most recent three-month period, with Ford division volume rising 11 percent but Lincoln down 1.1 percent. The first-quarter tally was driven by a 20 percent jump in pickup sales and a slight gain in SUV volume.
In March, Ford’s sales advanced for the fourth straight month, rising 7.5 percent, with the Ford division up 8.2 percent but Lincoln down 6.9 percent.
Ford ended March with gross stocks of about 400,000 cars and light trucks, with 251,000 units in dealer stock on the ground and slightly down from 254,000 at the close of February.
Toyota, saddled with some of the industry’s lowest stockpiles, said March sales dipped 9.1 percent, with the Toyota division off 12 percent and Lexus advancing 12 percent.
GM easily outsold Toyota by nearly 130,000 units during the first three months.
Toyota, which fell to No. 3 in the quarter behind GM and Ford, said March ended with 142,958 cars and light trucks in stock, with 116,108 of those units at port or in transit, equal to a 22-day supply. The Toyota division had 112,420 vehicles in inventory and Lexus had 30,538 cars and light trucks to start April, a spokesman said.
Stellantis’ slump continued with first quarter sales sliding 9 percent, behind a drop of 20 percent at Jeep and 7 percent at Ram, with volume up at two much smaller divisions, Dodge and Chrysler. The company, with some of the industry’s highest inventory levels along with rising incentives, has seen US sales decline seven consecutive quarters.
“As we continue to navigate the market conditions transpiring across the automotive industry, together with our dealer network, we are making the necessary adjustments to meet our customer’s expectations,” said Jeff Kommor, head of US sales at Stellantis.
Honda Motor Co.’s US sales also rebounded, and Hyundai and Kia racked up more gains in March, setting records for the month.
Sales advanced 8 percent at American Honda last month, with deliveries up 8.8 percent at the Honda division and 2.6 percent at Acura. It was the automaker’s second gain of the year after a 1.4 percent decline in February and a 14 percent rise in January.
American Honda has been among the automakers most impacted by tight chip supplies, mostly sourced from inland China. The Honda brand ended March with 38,000 cars and light trucks in stock, a spokesman said, while Acura had 22,000 units on hand, with both figures up over the end of February and up sharply from a year earlier.
Nissan, behind strong light-truck deliveries, snapped a stretch of six straight quarterly declines with a 17 percent increase in the first quarter, with the Nissan division advancing 16 percent and Infiniti surging 40 percent.
Volume rose 27 percent to 75,404 last month at Hyundai, with retail deliveries increasing 15 percent to 68,312. Hyundai said sales to fleet customers represented 9.4 percent of March volume.
The company ended March with 53,119 cars and light trucks in US inventory, down slightly from 54,156 at the close of February but up from 17,271 a year earlier.
US sales advanced 20 percent to 71,294 at Kiaits fifth-straight month of a gain of 20 percent or more.
Kia said four models — Carnival, Sportage, Telluride and Forte — set March records while sales of electrified models increased 10 percent, even as deliveries of the EV6 slumped 69 percent to 988 from 3,156 a year earlier.
Kia has one of the lowest days-supply of vehicles across the industry and said production and availability of key utility vehicles and “in-demand” electrified vehicles will improve “throughout the year.”
Subaru sales jumped 23 percent to 32,213 on strong light-truck deliveries.
Hyundai, Kia and Subaru have now posted higher sales eight consecutive months, the longest streaks among mass-market brands in the US
March volume rose 5.3 percent at Mazda.
It was a strong quarter for other luxury brands as well, with BMW, Audi and Volvo posting double-digit gains. Genesis set a monthly US sales record with volume of 5,656, up 23 percent, its fifth straight gain, on higher crossover deliveries.