Sales streaks in a sizzling market

DETROIT -- Chrysler Group led major automakers with a 20 percent gain in U.S. sales for July. It was the 52nd consecutive month of year-over-year increases for the once-bankrupt company.

Here are some other sales streaks that extended through July:

• Mercedes-Benz stretched its industry-leading string of consecutive monthly gains to 58, with a 15 percent increase.

• Audi stayed close behind, with a 57-month streak, thanks to a 12 percent July gain.

• Sibling Volkswagen, meanwhile, hasn't had a lift in more than a year. Its 15 percent July decline marked its 16th straight monthly sales setback.

• Subaru had the biggest percentage gain of any mainstream automaker, up 27 percent. It has now had 32 straight advances. Of those, all but three were double-digit percentage gains.

• Overall U.S. light-vehicle sales rose 9 percent, for their fifth straight monthly gain.

• The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate came in at 16.5 million. That marked the 5th consecutive month that the SAAR has topped 16 million, bolstering forecasts that the year will finish above 16 million total sales.

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