Both GM and Ford cited strong pickup truck sales as an indication of the housing recovery. Sales of the Ford F-150 pickup truck reached 68,787, the most since August 2007. At GM, Silverado sold 50,699 units, while the GMC Sierra sold 18,710 units, for a total of 69,409 units.

"We sold more than in any month since September 2008," McNeil said. "This gave us truck leadership for the month."

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

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