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Chrysler Group said November new-vehicle sales were up 16%, its best November since 2007.

It was the automaker's 44th consecutive month of sales gains.

The automaker said its long-delayed Cherokee SUV, replacement for the Liberty, had a strong month, notching 10,169 sales. It was the Cherokee's first full month in showrooms.

The launch was delayed while Chrysler engineers continued to tune the new nine-speed automatic transmission to ensure it worked in all two-wheel and four-wheel drive modes.

A few Cherokees trickled into dealers in October, but supplies only now are robust.

The Cherokee "looks to be a hit" says Edmunds.com senior analyst Michelle Krebs. But, she notes, "Clearly some of those sales were due to pent-up demand because consumers have been waiting for the small SUV while Chrysler delayed the sale due to quality concerns."

The company's Chrysler Town & Country family van was up a hefty 70%.

Chrysler's Fiat 500 sales were down dramatically, the base model off 41% and the new, larger 500L unable to attract enough buyers to compensate.

The automaker's brand highlights:

•The minivan sales jump more than wiped out slumps by the 200 and 300 sedans, leaving the namesake brand up 12% for the month.

•Jeep was up 30% on strong showings by all models. Grand Cherokee's 14,798 sales, up 9%, kept it the brand's best-seller.

•Dodge was up 4%, its Dart compact finally gaining significant momentum. Dart sales of 6,486 were up 44%. Charger and Caravan both did well, while Avenger plunged and Challenger slipped slightly.

•Ram truck brand zipped 25% mainly on the strength of a 22% jump by the Ram pickup, to 29,635. New commercial vans not in the lineup a year ago added the rest.

GENERAL MOTORS:

Powered by healthy response to its redesigned Chevrolet Impala, updated Chevy Malibu and remade full-size Chevy and GMC pickups, General Motors reported a sales jump of 14% in November, to 212,060, for the automaker's best November in six years.

"November sales were strong at all four of our brands, and demand was robust for everything from cars to crossovers to" pickups, said Kurt McNeil, vice president in charge of GM's U.S. sales operations.

Impala was up 20.2% on the strength of a full redesign.

Malibu zipped 40.9%. The mid-size sedan recently got interior and drivetrain updates.

Chevy Silverado was up 12.1% and the similar GMC Sierra rose 22.5%.

FORD MOTOR:

Ford Motor's November sales rose 7.2% to 190,449, as its Fusion sedan sales zoomed 51% and its F-series trucks hits 60,000 sales for the seventh consecutive month.

Ford said it was the best November since 2004.

The automaker reported continued momentum on the import-biased coasts, where it has had trouble making converts.

Even moribund Lincoln had a pulse, up 17% powered by a 113.8% increase in MKZ sales, though that was still a modest 2,854.

MKZ is the Ford-Fusion-based model that's supposed to, in effect, relaunch Lincoln under it new moniker: Lincoln Motor Co. Ford wants it to seem independent, to remove the stigma that Lincolns are merely rebadged Fords.

The automaker took pains to make the MKZ quite different from the Fusion, and it is striking at least a minor chord with buyers.

John Felice, Ford vice president of U.S. marketing sales and service, said incentive spending both by Ford and competitors increased later in the month, especially in segments such as midsize sedans.

Details:

•Fusion mid-size sedan, up 51%, and Fiesta subcompact, up 25.9%, were the only stars among cars. It was Fusion's best November.

Focus, C-Max and Taurus all fell significantly. Mustang rose just 1.3%.

•Among SUVs, Edge and Explorer tumbled, while the Flex, Ford's oldest SUV, rose 28.9% -- but that's still a small number, just 2,125 total.

•F-series trucks, Ford's best-selling line, climbed 16.3% despite fresh competiton from new General Motors pickups and updated Chrysler Ram models. Transit Connect, a small commercial van that's been popular, tumbled 19.3%.

•The Lincoln brand's only gainers were the MKZ and the big Navigator truck-based SUV, up 12.9%. The brand reported just 6,727 sales in November, though that was up 17.4%.

Felice said Lincoln's makeover is "a process" that will include the launch of four new models over the next four years, including next year's introduction of the MKC compact crossover.

Ford forecast production of 770,000 vehicles the first quarter of next year, down from 784,000 a year earlier, but flat with this quarter.

TOYOTA MOTOR:

Toyota Motor said in an early summary that its Lexus, Scion and Toyota brand sales rose 10.1% from a year ago to 178,044.

Company Vice President Bill Fay noted a Black Friday boost, "Showroom traffic surged over the holiday weekend for Toyota, indicating good momentum we expect to continue through the end of the year and into 2014."

NISSAN:

Nissan said its November sales of 106,528 put it 10.7% ahead of the year-ago month and made it a record November for both the mainstream Nissan brand and hte luxury Infiniti brand.

Highlights:

•Midsize Nissan Altima, though its 2013 redesign no longer is among the freshest, set a November record at 24,604, up 21.2%.

•Sentra compact, also redone for 2013 though more recenlty than Altima, was up 62.5% percent to 11,664. Nissan says dealers now have more to sell, and buyers seem newly interested.

•Frontier, its aging midsize pickup that's a distant second to Toyota's dominant Tacoma, enjoyed a striking 54.6% sales gain, to 6,003.

•Sales of the Leaf battery electric car, which Nissan recently priced lower, set a November record at 2,003, up 30.1%. The 2013 model made its debut in March and sales have set monthly records ever since.

•Infiniti's Q50 sedan, new to the lineup and meant as a replacement for the G-series sedans, hit 5,891 sales in November. Infiniti calls that "one of the strongest-ever monthly sales of a single Infiniti model."

•Infiniti's QX60 -- new name for the JX 7-passenger luxury crossover SUV -- had its best November, up 19.2% to 3,015. Despite the new name, the vehicle remains the same, Infiniti says -- even though some ads call it "all-new." Infinti's website says, "Only the name has changed."

VOLKSWAGEN:

Despite a dearth of new models leading to a sales drop of 16.3%, Volkswagen said its November sales of 30,727 were the second-best for that month since 1973.

Beetle was the only bright spot, up 43%, but the number still was a modest 2,842, entirely due to the strength of the convertible.

Jetta, the brand's best-seller, was off 12.9%.

Passat, the mainstream mid-size sedan made at Chattanooga, Tenn., was down 15.8%.

VW will have a redesigned Golf on sale early next year, which could help. And Jetta is updated next year, also a likely boon.

MASERATI:

Fiat's Maserati, a niche brand aspiring to be a bigger luxury player in the U.S., seems headed there.

It's Ghibli, a smaller and less expensive sedan at about $66,000, help power the brand to a 319% sales gain in November to 910 cars.

That put it nearly even among Fiat models with the 500L, a larger version of the Fiat 500 minicar, which snagged 937 buyers in November.

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