Chevy Volt sales power up

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DETROIT - You may have heard the good news, sales are up for U.S. carmakers -- proof of a revival for the industry in 2012.

Sales of new cars and trucks rose 13% to 14.5 million in 2012. And if they climb much beyond that, they'll be closing in on a high set in 2005. 

Cheap loans, a host of new cars and greater confidence in the economy are drawing buyers into showrooms. Plus, Americans who hung on to aging cars during the recession are ready to trade them in. 

In particular, General Motors is celebrating the sales of its Chevy Volt. General Motors sold more than 23,000 Volts in 2012. Those sales put the Volt well ahead of its nearest competitor, the Nissan Leaf. 

Analysts say the biggest factor driving sales is the vehicles increased popularity in California. Engineers apparently tweaked the Volt making it eligible for California's highly desirable carpool lane stickers.

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