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GM reports healthier sales in January

DETROIT — General Motors Co. says its January sales rose 14 percent due to higher fleet and crossover vehicle sales.

Crossovers are sport utility vehicle-like in size but sit on a car instead of a truck frame.

The automaker says it was helped by a stronger economy and Toyota’s decision to halt U.S. sales of eight models due to a gas pedal system problem.

Toyota reported a 16 percent sales drop, while Ford Motor Co. was up 25 percent. Honda Motor Co. sales fell 5 percent, and Nissan Motor Co.’s rose 16 percent. Chrysler was down 8 percent.

Toyota stopped selling the models Jan. 26.

Automakers were expecting January numbers to be up over the same month last year, when sales dipped to a 26-year low because of the tough economy.

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