Confounding expectations, the North American market remained strong in 2002, although car and truck sales took a bit of a respite, dropping to third place following two go-go years at 20 million-plus units. Buyers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico drove home with nearly 19.9 million vehicles in 2002, just 0.6% fewer than the 20.0 million-plus sold in 2001 and 2.1% less than the record 20.3 million bought in 2000. In the key U.S. market, sales fell to fourth-best at just over 17.1 million ...

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