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Auto Sales Up

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DETROIT (AP) — Auto sales have been sizzling this summer, helped by big discounts.

Toyota, Ford, Nissan and Chrysler are all reporting double-digit sales gains in July, compared to a year ago. Chrysler’s U.S. sales jumped 20 percent over last July.

General Motors’ sales were up 9.8 percent. Honda and Volkswagen saw declines.

Analysts say it could be the best July for the industry since 2006.

Automakers typically offer deals in the summer to clear out inventory before cars from the new model year arrive in the fall. But July’s discounts were unusually high.

Incentives rose 8 percent over last July — or $216 per vehicle — according to the car shopping site Cars.com. Edmunds.com says 13.5 percent of new car loans in July had zero-percent financing, the highest level since December 2010.

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