6 Hot Cars in January, Starting with Ford Fusion

Tickers in this article: F GM HMC TM

VW Passat

Passat sold 8,856 units in January, up 40% from the same month a year earlier, for its best January ever.

Passat trailed Jetta as the second best-selling U.S. car for Volkswagen, which saw January sales gain 6.7% to 29,018 units, marking its best January since 1974. The Jetta sedan sold 9,089 units.

"With all the buzz that comes with the (Detroit) Auto Show, the release of our Super Bowl advertisement, 'Get Happy,' and a full line-up of new and refreshed vehicles, Volkswagen is off to a solid start in 2013," said Jonathan Browning, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, in a prepared statement. "While the economic conditions continue to be somewhat uncertain, we expect Volkswagen to achieve continued growth and to outpace the industry this year."

Toyota Avalon

January sales of the 2013 Avalon sales totaled 4,840, up 50% in the first full month of sales.

The large sedan, unveiled at the 2012 New York Auto Show, is built on the same platform as the Lexus ES. It went on sale in the U.S. in December 2012.

Overall, Toyota (TM) January sales rose 21% to 141,514 units. "The sales pace we saw in the fourth quarter of last year rolled into January, exceeding our expectations for the industry," said Bill Fay, general manager, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A, in a prepared statement. "With the 2013 Avalon and 2013 RAV4 off to a great start, our focus remains firmly on new products and taking care of our customers."

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

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