DETROIT ( TheStreet) -- March is shaping up to be an unusually strong month for automobile sales, with catalysts including Toyota ( TM) incentives and nice weather following a stormy February. Recently, an early look at March results by Edmonds.com indicated that North American vehicle sales are pacing at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 13.2 million. According to Edmonds.com, sales are currently on pace to produce a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate for the industry of 13.2 million, the highest since the 13.7 million SAAR recorded in August 2009, reflecting buying inspired by the cash for clunkers program.
Meanwhile, as of March 10, Ford ( F) had a 19.2% share, while GM had 17.8% of the market and Toyota had 15.5%, according to Truecar.com. Ford recorded a 17.6% share in
February and a 14.6% share in March 2009. Ford analyst George Pipas said that while it is too early to talk about the month's SAAR and market-share numbers, the sales trends are not surprising. "If you will recall, when all of the February results were tabulated, much of the conversation was that this terrible winter weather had stalled auto sales -- some say it stalled home sales as well -- and another comment was that Toyota buyers were sitting on the sidelines," he said."Now, the worst of the winter weather appears to be behind us, and if Toyota buyers were on the sidelines, what better way to get them off than 0% financing for 60 months?" Pipas cautioned against drawing firm conclusions about the economy from recent monthly sales figures, given the influence of exogenous events. December was colored by incentives and the expiration of the sales tax benefit; January sales fell as payback for December, and February included a partial shutdown by Toyota as well as bad weather. "We have not had a clean month for some time, and I don't think March will give us a clean reading either," he said. -- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C. .