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Rebound in US auto sales sustained in mid-October

Sales of US-made cars increased 40 percent in mid-October to a four-year high for the period, another sign that the auto industry is continuing a slow but steady climb from the recession of just a year ago, industry analysts say.

According to them, the Oct. 11-20 rise in sales to 235,334 from 167,806 units last year was sparked by a sharp increase in sales of mid-size and large autos. However, customers have not yet reentered dealer showrooms in large numbers. The gain in sales would have been much greater if key car buyers at industry-related companies had reentered the market, the analysts added.

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Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler alone reported a sales increase of 40.4 percent in mid-October. Their sales are up 42.7 percent for the month - and 17 percent for the year.

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