Story updated with Toyota March sales and Ford estimate of industry sales.
Detroit ( TheStreet) -- Ford ( F) said March sales rose 3%, as Fusion had its best month ever, while Chrysler said March sales rose 13% as Jeep had its best month ever.
GM (GM) said its eagerly awaited March sales report, normally released by 10 a.m. on monthly auto sales reporting days, would be delayed for several hours due to a computer systems issue impacting dealer sales reporting. Toyota (TM) said its March sales rose 5%.
Forecasters were estimating that overall industry March sales will post a gain in the mid-single digits. On its sales call, Ford estimated total industry sales would increase 4% to 6% to 1.52 to 1.55 million.
In morning trading minutes after the opening bell, Ford shares were up 44 cents to $16.05. GM sales were up 41 cents to $34.83.
Ford's March sales totaled 244,167 units, with retail sales up 3% to 166,030, the best March for retail sales in eight years. Ford Fusion sales rose 9% to 32,963, the best month since the vehicle was introduced in 2005. Fusion sales in the West rose 22%. Meanwhile, F-Series sales rose 5% to 70,940 and Lincoln sales rose 31% to 8,969.
"March sales turned noticeably higher mid-month and finished strong," said John Felice, Ford vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service, in a prepared statement. "Fusion set an all-time record in March, as overall retail sales in the West continued to expand at the fastest rate in the nation -including California being up 32%."