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GM, Ford sales jump in January

General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. posted increases in January sales that beat analysts' estimates, while Toyota Motor Corp.'s U.S. January sales slid 16 percent to a 10-year low as a recall put some of its most-popular models off limits.

GM's deliveries climbed 14 percent, and Ford rose 25 percent after the automakers targeted Toyota buyers last week with trade-in incentives. Nissan Motor Co. said sales were up 16 percent. Honda Motor Co. said sales fell 5 percent, and Chrysler Group Llc dropped 8 percent.

Industrywide deliveries have now climbed for three months after the recession dragged demand in 2009 to the lowest levels in 27 years.

U.S. industry sales rose 6.3 percent to 698,378 cars and trucks, equal to an annualized rate of 10.8 million light vehicles, according to researcher Manufacturers, dealers and investors use the rate to compare monthly totals by taking into account seasonal buying patterns.

GM said its Chevrolet Malibu posted a 77 percent gain from a year earlier to 16,439 units, topping the Camry's 15,792 after the Toyota model fell 24 percent. Ford, which followed GM with incentives aimed at Toyota buyers, had a 49 percent rise for the Fusion, to 12,179. Gains by Toyota rivals were "fairly marginal," said Michael DiGiovanni, GM executive director of product and brand strategy.- Bloomberg News

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