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January Car Sales Off to Good Start

VW up nearly 50%, Toyota regains momentum, but GM slips.

by on Feb.01, 2012

The new VW Passat helped the maker score a nearly 50% sales gain in January.

With Volkswagen and Chrysler Group leading the way, the U.S. auto industry is off to a good start for 2012, a number of key analysts upping their forecasts for the full-year.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate, or SAAR for the new vehicle market appears to have hit 13.5 million units in January providing support for predictions that 2012 will be another year of growth in the automobile industry. While General Motors went into negative territory, the overall automotive market saw significant gains, some makers — including Audi — reporting best-ever sales.

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Chrysler reported U.S. sales of 101,149, a 44% increase compared with sales in January 2011 (70,118 units), the group’s best January sales since 2008. It also marked the maker’s 22nd consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains and eighth-consecutive month of sales increases of at least 20%.