The auto industry ended 2002 with a bang, as increased consumer and dealer incentives and higher fleet demand pushed December sales in the U.S. to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 18.3 million. (see related data: Ward's Dec. 2002 US Sales) But given the volatility of the whole year – with SAARs ranging from well below 16 million in May and October to 18 million-plus in three other months, December’s results, though unexpected, were not all that surprising. Calendar year ...

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