WARREN - Area new-vehicle sales in March continued to lag last year's robust pace, falling 16.6 percent from March 2011, according to an Automobile Dealers Association of Eastern Ohio report issued Monday.
New car and truck registrations in Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties hit 2,344 compared to 2,810 a year ago, when General Motors Co.'s return to leasing drew buyers.
The 2,810 was a March best going back to 2006, when county title offices registered 3,258 new vehicles.
New-vehicle sales of 5,699 through the first three months were 14.9 percent below the year-ago period pace of 6,699.
Used vehicles fared better, rising 3.4 percent from last year to 4,550. Year-to-date used sales are up 5.8 percent at 11,479.
Total March vehicles sales were down 4.4 percent from last year at 6,894. Year-to-date sales were off 2.1 percent at 17,178.
Area buyers most favored the Chevrolet Malibu, buying 193 compared to 392 last March. The Lordstown-built Chevrolet Cruze was second with 169 sales versus 292 a year ago.
Chevrolet led all makes with 736 new sales compared to 1,202 last March. Ford was second at 295, followed by Kia at 146.
Taylor Kia led all dealers with 149 new-vehicle sales, followed by Greenwood Chevrolet at 140. Diane Sauer Chevrolet led Trumbull County dealers with 85 new-vehicle sales.
Greenwood led in new and used vehicle sales with 270, followed by Taylor Kia at 222. Diane Sauer Chevrolet topped Trumbull County dealers with 159 total sales.