Ford, GM see Nov. sales gains as Toyota falters DETROIT — All major automakers but Toyota reported strong U.S. sales increases in November as the auto industry's slow-motion recovery continued to gain traction. Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Nissan, Hyundai and Honda all reported double-digit increases. Only Toyota, which has been hurt by a string of safety recalls, had a sales drop. Industry analysts say the solid sales numbers, combined with a strong October, show that consumers who have kept their jobs through the economic downturn are now feeling confident enough to spend money and replace older vehicles. Yingzi Su, GM's senior economist, said the stable and increasing auto sales mean that consumers with jobs are starting to spend again, and that's a good sign for the broader economic recovery. Once businesses see increased consumer spending, they will be more willing to hire workers, a factor that has held back the economic recovery for months. Of the major automakers, Hyundai Motor Co. had the biggest increase, up 45 percent from the same month last year. Nissan Motor Co. sales were up 27 percent, followed by Honda Motor Co. at 21 and Ford Motor Co. with 20 percent. Chrysler had a 17 percent increase, while General Motors reported sales up 11 percent from November of last year, a month marked by consumer paralysis due to high unemployment. Toyota sales dipped 3 percent. GM reported increased showroom traffic toward the end of the month, after its initial public stock offering on Nov. 18. The U.S. government, which spent $49.5 billion bailing GM out of its financial troubles last year, cut its stake in the company from 61 percent to about 33 percent by selling stock in the IPO. GM has maintained that government ownership has hurt its image with consumers and its sales. GM shares rose 2 percent to $34.83 in afternoon trading. Black Friday gains, but consumers stay nervous Nissan’s new Leaf is the perfect commuter car 12 must-have toy hits from Christmases past Hyundai's big sales increase was led by the popular Sonata midsize sedan, which has sold well since its recent redesign. Sales were up 72 percent. The Korean automaker's sales have been rising all year. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40453300/ns/business-autos/ Trimmed and Linked.