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Annual sales for US automakers reach 6-year high

Chrysler, part of the automaker Fiat, said it sold 161,000 vehicles in December, a 6 percent increase from a year ago.
Chrysler, part of the automaker Fiat, said it sold 161,000 vehicles in December, a 6 percent increase from a year ago.Joshua Lott/Reuters

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DETROIT — Automakers said Friday that sales of new vehicles cooled in December, but not enough to diminish the solid overall gains the industry made in 2013.

Industry executives estimated that sales for the month rose about 3 percent from levels a year ago. While sales started slowly in December, the executives said that showroom traffic picked up considerably after the Christmas holiday.

Still, the month capped the industry’s best overall year since 2007, as U.S. consumers and businesses kept a steady pace of replacing older cars and trucks with new models.

For all of 2013, automakers sold more than 15.5 million vehicles in the United States, an increase of about 7 percent from the previous year.

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