U.S. auto sales in March strongest in years

It could be a sign of an economic turnaround. U.S. auto sales posted the best figures in years last month.

Automakers recorded nearly 1.5 million new trucks and cars sold in March. Analysts say that's due in some part to low interest rates and because people are buying out of necessity.

Honda had the best month with a 7.1 percent year-over-year increase. General Motors and Ford each saw a six percent jump. Chrysler sales rose five percent, led by sale of the Ram pickup.

UM-Flint economics professor Chris Douglas says he is cautiously optimistic about the figures.

â??I would expect it to continue in the future too unless we have another economic crisis,â?? he said. â??I would expect sales to return to the pre recession level."

Analysts add that a strong demand for pickup trucks also fueled the increase, as well as the timing. March is typically when car buyers use tax refund checks to make their down payments.