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Automakers post double-digit gains for US sales in November

Motor vehicle makers in the US Thursday posted double-digit gains in the month of November, as the industry heads for its best sales pace this year.

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Motor vehicle makers in the US Thursday posted double-digit gains in the month of November, as the industry heads for its best sales pace this year.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) reported a 13.3 percent rise in US sales for November to 166,865 cars and trucks.

The improvement was helped by a 20 percent gain in retail sales, as opposed to fleet sales, which are delivered to rental car companies and other bulk buyers at a discount.

Ford said that the increase helped bring its retail market share to an average of 15 percent over the past three months, its highest level in five years.

Ford also raised its 2012 first-quarter production forecast by three percent to 675,000 vehicles.

General Motors (NYSE:GM), meanwhile, posted a gain of seven percent for total November sales, boosted by sales of trucks, vans and SUVs.

GM's sales of small and compact cars, including the new Chevrolet Cruze, rose 54 percent from a year earlier.

Overall passenger car sales were up one percent, while sales of its trucks gained 25 percent for the top U.S. automaker.

GM's head of US sales, Don Johnson, said: "We are seeing a broad spectrum of customers return to the market."

Chrysler, owned by Italy's Fiat, said that its Jeep brand sales rose 50 percent in November, while deliveries of its 200 Sedan increased to 8,065 in November, almost six times the year-earlier sales of the Sebring model that it replaced.

Volkswagen (ETR:VOW) said its US sales in November were up almost 41 percent, while Nissan posted a 19 percent increase in sales for the month.

Analysts forecast industry sales of 13.4 million vehicles for November which would mark the highest annualized rate since August 2009, when the US government launched its "cash for clunkers" rebate program.

If projections hold, November would also be the third straight month that annualized vehicle sales have topped the 13 million mark.

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