Incentives Keep Driving Auto Sales

March showed a 4% rise. Nice -- but not enough to let auto execs abandon the rebate habit. That will be one uphill climb

Enticing rebates and the first wave of income-tax refunds helped the U.S. auto industry kick off the spring selling season. Light-vehicle sales were up 4% in March vs. a year ago. Auto execs point to rising sales as proof of rebounding consumer demand, but they're warily keeping one eye on bulging inventories.

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