March U.S. auto sales continue to outpace last year’s levels despite rising gas prices and inventory uncertainty following the earthquake in Japan. Total light vehicle sales in March were 1.24 million units, up 9% from March 2010. New vehicle retail sales alone account for nearly 992,000 units. This represents a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 10.9 million units, up 15% from the same period the year before. J.D. Powers forecasts total 2011 vehicle sales of 13 million units, which would be a 13% increase from last year.