Big Start to 2013 for Top Three Auto Makers

U.S. auto sales maintained the strong upward trend that delivered a solid send-off to 2012, with most major manufacturers reporting double-digit gains for January.

A number of manufacturers set new sales records during the first month of 2013, and Detroit makers, in particular, recovered some much-needed momentum. Two of the Detroit Big Three ended last year with market share declines.

Industry observers credit a variety of factors for driving strong demand last month, including an improving economy and a bump in the long-struggling housing market. Notably, January saw demand surge in a variety of different segments, from high-mileage small cars and hybrid vehicles to full-size pickups.

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