Automakers close ’12 in high gear

Strengthening economy, low interest rates boost 2013 outlook

Posted: January 4, 2013 at 1:42 a.m.

Honda Pilots are lined up on a sales lot in Des Plaines, Ill.An improving economy in 2012 and better December sales led U.S. auto manufacturers on Thursday to report their best performance in ÿ ve years.

A steadily improving economy and strong December sales lifted the American auto industry to its best performance in five years in 2012, especially for Volkswagen and Japanese-brand vehicles, and experts say 2013 should be even better.

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Business, Pages 23 on 01/04/2013