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The sales were welcome news to investors, who have beaten down General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. shares in recent days over losses in Europe. Ford’s stock climbed 2 percent to $9.60, while GM’s stock jumped 6 percent to $20.67.

Toyota’s sales rose 60 percent for the month and Honda’s climbed 49 percent, but that wasn’t surprising. Last year, both automakers had little inventory at U.S. dealerships because of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March. Now, they’re taking back sales that their rivals gained last year.

AP writer Tom Krisher contributed to this report.