Sales of light trucks in March and for the first quarter of 2003 were mixed as a result of harsh winter weather and reduced consumer spending due in part to the war in Iraq.

DaimlerChrysler said its total truck sales in the U.S. for March dropped to 157,071 units this year, down from 159,088 units in March of last year. For the first quarter, sales fell to 378,744 units, down from 400,243 units in the first quarter last year. Dodge Ram pickup sales, however, improved compared to 2002.

Sales of Ram pickups increased to 38,931 units in March, up from 35,457 units in March last year, while rising to 97,474 units in the first quarter compared to 93,729 units last year.

Ford Motor Co. said truck sales were down across the board, with its heavy-duty line taking the brunt of the drop. Ford's total truck sales fell to 187,142 units in March, down from 202,649 units in March of last year.

For the first quarter, Fords truck sales declined to 514,986 units, compared to 525,306 units in the first quarter of 2002. Sales of Ford's heavy-duty trucks dropped by almost half in March, falling to 363 units compared to 645 units in March 2002, with first quarter sales dropping to 1,253 units compared to 1,747 units in the same period last year.

Toyota Motor Corp.'s total light truck sales rose to 70,636 units in March, up from 69,740 units in March 2002. For the first quarter, however, total truck sales slipped to 179,320 units compared to 181,225 units last year.

Sales of Toyota's pickup line dropped off as well, falling to 21,672 units last month compared to 23,841 units in March 2002. For the first quarter, Toyota pickup sales fell to 54,681 units compared to 59,814 units in the same quarter last year.

American Honda's total light truck sales rose to 47,049 units last month compared to 34,459 units in March 2002. For the first quarter, its light truck sales jumped to 120,565 units compared to 92,253 units in the same period last year.

Mitsubishi Motors said light truck sales increased to 6,438 units last month compared to 6,303 units in March 2002, while jumping to 22,668 units in the first quarter compared to 18,693 units in the same period last year.