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Auto sales rebound to pre-recession levels

Published: Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

DETROIT (AP) – For the U.S. auto industry, the recession is now clearly in the rear-view mirror.

New car sales jumped 17 percent to 1.5 million in August, their highest level in more than 6 years. Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Honda, Chrysler and General Motors all posted double-digit gains over last August.

The full-year sales pace rose above 16 million for the first time since November 2007, the month before the Great Recession officially started. Exuberant automakers said sales will likely remain at that pace for the rest of this year.

“I think it’s here to stay,” said Mustafa Mohatarem, GM’s chief economist.

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