The First Trust NASDAQ Global Auto Index Fund (NasdaqGM: CARZ) is trading higher by nearly 1% Wednesday on volume that is more than 62% above the daily average. Upside for CARZ comes a day after data showed U.S. auto sales jumped 6% to 1.5 million vehicles last month.

March auto sales data are sign as an encouraging sign after the industry struggled through the first two months of the year due to harsh weather in the Midwest and Northeast. Some analysts even called January auto sales data a disaster. [Blizzard Pressures Some Sector ETFs]

Despite a trying first quarter, CARZ is up nearly 5% year-to-date and currently resides less than 50 cents below its 52-week high. The timing looks right to give the $60.3 million ETF another look.

Auto and related auto part equities have a history of moving higher from March 3 to May 3. Average return per period during the past 20 periods was 9.0 per cent. The trade is triggered when consumers start to enter the auto showrooms early in March following much publicized auto shows in January and February when new models and innovations are displayed,” write Don and Jon Vialoux for the Globe and Mail.

Up 4.1% since March 3, CARZ is obeying seasonal strength for the auto industry.  The ETF’s recent strength is impressive for another reason: Its exposure to Japan.