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Chrysler Group sales rise 13 percent in March

Chrysler Group continued its strong performance with sales in March up 13 percent compared to a year ago -- representing the company's best March sales numbers since 2007. The winter months were also good for Chrysler, with sales for the first quarter up by 11 percent over 2013, despite bad winter weather in January and February.

"We are entering the spring selling season on a high note," Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales said in a statement. "Our Ram pickup truck posted its best sales in 10 years." Sales for the Jeep brand rose 47 percent over March 2013.

When all auto manufacturers have reported, analysts are expecting March 2014 sales to show an increase of at least three percent over March of last year, and a rise of more than 20 percent compared with sales in February that were slowed by weather conditions.

For the first quarter overall, analyst Jesse Toprak of auto site projects sales for General Motors (GM) to be down by 3.4 percent and Ford (F) off by 2.8 percent compared with the first quarter of 2013. Because of slow first quarter sales, Toprak is lowering his forecast for full-year 2014 sales slightly to 16.1 million vehicles.

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