On Thursday, the Ford Motor Co (NYSE:F), said gross sales rose 43% in March. The increase -- which mirrored (yet surpassed) a similar gain in February -- had Ford registering the highest monthly sales increase since February 1984.
Other auto business is also up. GM reported a 43% increase. Toyota (NYSE:TM) said unit sales are up 41%. And Honda (NYSE:HMC) reported a 22% increase.
"We saw incentives rise and prices fall at some of our competitors," said Ken Czubay, vice president of U.S. marketing for Ford.
Ford wants to limit its incentives to models that directly compete with Toyota, such as its Fusion mid-sized car, which competes with Toyota's Camry, and the Ford Focus, which is a rival to the Toyota Corolla.
"We are standing by our cars, and we're grateful that our customers are standing by Toyota," said Don Esmond, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales.
"Our March results show continued progress toward our growth plan," said Susan Docherty, GM vice president of marketing. "By investing in our brands and remaining disciplined in our approach to the U.S. market, we posted solid results."
And is credit flowing again at the car dealerships? A 0% financing offer by Toyota, was soon matched by all the other large manufacturers including GM, Ford, Chrysler, Hyundai (OTC:HYMLF), Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) and Honda.
It appears as though auto sales growth is accelerating in Q1, just like the rest of the U.S. retail sector growth.