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While automotive sales have been almost universally down in 2009 compared to 2008, Ford has a legitimate reason to crow about its December figures, which are up a third over December of '08 and an impressive 50 percent over November. The green side of the coin, though, looks even better.

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We'll have our monthly By the Numbers post ready lickity split, but here's a little tidbit worth sharing ahead of the full data download. While automotive sales have been almost universally down in 2009 compared to 2008, Ford has a legitimate reason to crow about its December figures, which are up a third over December of '08 and an impressive 50 percent over November.

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Quick – What's the best-selling light-duty pickup truck in America? Did you say the Ford F-150? Not so fast. According to the J.D. Power Information Network (via our friends at PickupTrucks.com), General Motors sold more Chevy Silverado 1500 pickups (119,959 units) in June that Ford sold F-150s (107,778 units), and that's not a fluke.

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Athletic governing bodies are coming down hard on steroids and HGH, which has probably led to a glut on the market. Performance West Group appears to have bought up the entire surplus and injected it into a Ford F-350 dually in order to create the Striker. Part pickup and part Ford Mustang GT500KR, the Striker will be intimidating other vehicles at this year's SEMA show in Las Vegas.

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