Pickup sales lead July surge

July new vehicle sales were the highest for the year at an annual rate of 17.3 million. While total sales of 1.5 million were down 4.5% from July 2002, they topped June 2003 by 6%.The brightest American movers: GM pickups spurted 22%; Dodge Rams, 15%; and the old Ford F-series, 10.5% on the eve of restyled 2004s.

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