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Auto Sales Gain 13% in March to Cap Best Quarter Since 2008

U.S. sales of cars and light trucks rose 13 percent in March, sending the industry to the best quarterly pace since 2008, as buyers who put off purchases returned to dealerships to find more fuel-efficient models.

Deliveries accelerated to a 14.4 million seasonally adjusted annual rate from 13.1 million a year earlier, according to researcher Autodata Corp. General Motors Co. and Honda Motor Co. missed analysts’ estimates, leading the industry to fall short of the 14.5 million rate that was the average of 16 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.