Michigan automakers see accelerated sales in 2012
Both Ford Motor Co. and General Motors saw an increase in U.S. sales this past year, but truck sales saw very small growth.
Ford Motor Co. says its U.S. sales rose 2 percent in December, as strong sales of small cars made up for weak truck sales.
Sales of the Focus small car rose 58 percent from last December, while the Fiesta subcompact was up 53 percent. F-series pick up truck sales were flat compared with last December. Sales of the new Ford Escape small SUV, which has been hit with several recalls, fell 21 percent.
Ford's U.S. sales were up 5 percent overall this year. Truck sales rose just 2 percent, but Ford saw higher increases for cars and SUVs like the Ford Explorer.
Sales of Ford's luxury Lincoln brand fell 4 percent as the company began a multi-year makeover of the brand.
General Motors also saw an increase in company sales in 2012 with a 3.7 percent increase.
GM sold just under 2.6 million new cars and trucks in 2012. Its December sales rose almost 5 percent from a year earlier.
The company's sales growth for the year lagged the U.S. auto industry, which was expected to grow 13 percent from 2011 numbers.
Other automakers reported strong sales for the year. Chrysler sales jumped 21 percent, while Volkswagen was up 25 percent.
GM was led by the Chevrolet Sonic small car, with sales up more than five times the number sold in 2011.
But sales of the Chevy Silverado pickup, GM's top-selling vehicle, rose less than 1 percent for the year.