This month's US new vehicle sales (including fleet sales) are expected to be 1.52m units, a 3% decrease from March 2005 and a 21% increase from February 2006, according to Edmunds.com.

This is equivalent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 16.3m units.

"The market is healthy," said Edmunds' top industry analyst Jesse Toprak. "The year-over-year decline is mainly because of the exceptional sales volume we experienced last March."

The combined monthly US market share for domestic brands is estimated to be 57.2% in March, down from 59.3% in March 2005 and down slightly from 57.8% in February 2006.

Edmunds predicts Chrysler will sell 217,000 units in March, up 2% compared to March 2005 and up 14% compared to February 2006. This would result in a new car market share of 14.3% for Chrysler in March, up from 13.5% in March 2005 but down from 15.1% in February 2006.

Ford will sell 282,000 units, down 5% year on year and up 25% month on month. This would result in a market share of 18.0%, down from 19.1% yearly and 19.0% monthly.

General Motors will sell 373,000 units in March, down 11% and up 27% respectively. Market share is expected to be 23.4% in March, down from 26.7% a year ago and 23.7% last month.