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NEW YORK (Kyodo) New car sales in the United States in February surged 27.3 percent for the sixth straight month of year-on-year increase on the back of an economic recovery, with Toyota Motor Corp. enjoying solid growth following the U.S. government’s safety endorsement, data released Tuesday by a U.S. research firm showed.

Overall new car sales totaled 993,387 units, of which Toyota sold 141,846, up 41.8 percent, according to Autodata Corp. The top automaker is apparently shaking off the impact of worldwide recalls after the U.S. Transportation Department’s probe found no electronic glitches in its vehicles.

Toyota remained the third-largest in the U.S. market with a 14.3 percent share, behind General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co.

General Motors sold 207,028 vehicles, up 46.4 percent, for a market share of 20.8 percent. The sharp increase, both in pickup trucks and cars, highlighted GM’s steady recovery since it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2009.

Ford Motor sales rose 13.7 percent to 156,232 vehicles, with its market share standing at 15.7 percent.

The other Detroit Three automaker, Chrysler Group LLC, saw its sales grow 12.6 percent to 95,102 units, remaining the fifth-biggest automaker in the U.S. market, with a share of 9.6 percent, just behind Honda Motor Co., which sold 98,059 units, up 21.6 percent, for a market share of 9.9 percent.

The combined sales of the Detroit Three increased 26.2 percent to 458,362 units, commanding a 46.1 percent share of the U.S. new-car market in February, compared with 46.6 percent a year earlier.

Japan’s other carmakers also posted double-digit growth, with Nissan Motor Co. registering a 31.6 percent jump in sales to 92,370 units. Sales grew 19.8 percent to 21,683 units at Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., known for its Subaru brand, and 13.7 percent to 19,387 units at Mazda Motor Corp.

Posts EV deal fails

GIFU (Kyodo) A startup firm in Gifu Prefecture that was to provide a Japan Post Holdings Co. company with about 1,000 electric vehicles is planning to file for protection from creditors under the weight of about ¥1.18 billion in debts.

Japan Post Service Co. notified Zero Sports Co. in mid-January that it was terminating the contract for the supply of environmentally friendly mail-delivery vehicles because the startup failed to deliver them on time.

The postal service provider also called for ¥700 million for breach of contract, according to Zero Sports, based in Kakamigahara.

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