Auto sales looks best in 6 years

DETROIT (AP) -- U.S. auto sales have slowed a bit from the brisk pace earlier in 2013. But despite some disappointing December numbers, it still appears to be the best annual performance in six years for the auto companies.

Nissan posted an 11 percent gain for December, and Chrysler managed a 6 percent increase.

But General Motors saw a drop of more than 6 percent in December, with sales of its top-selling model, the Chevrolet Silverado pickup, falling 16 percent.

Ford sales were up just 1.8 percent for the month.

Toyota sales were down 1.7 percent and Volkswagen's December sales plunged 23 percent.

For the full year, though, Ford led all major automakers with an 11 percent gain to almost 2.5 million vehicles.

For both Chrysler and Nissan, sales were up 9 percent. Sales for GM and Toyota rose 7 percent, while VW sales fell 7 percent.

When all the numbers are in, analysts expect full-year sales to be up around 8 percent to 15.6 million. That would be the highest sales figure since 16.1 million in 2007.


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