US auto sales rise in 2010, but remain below highs

Detroit's car companies are reporting some solid gains for 2010.

Ford's sales rose 15% and it grabbed market share from rivals for the second straight year.

GM saw an increase of 6.3%. And Chrysler climbed 17 %. Both companies had restructured in bankruptcy court a year earlier.

GM sold 2.2 million vehicles in 2010, nearly 131,000 more than the prior year. The increase came even though it got rid of four brands to focus on Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC.

Ford's sales rose thanks to strong demand for its pickups, as construction companies and other small businesses began buying trucks again.

But with sales of around 11.5 million new cars and trucks, 2010 was still the second-worst year in nearly three decades, after 2009.

Toyota continued to struggle, with flat sales in 2010. The company is still feeling the effects of its recalls of more than 10 million vehicles for various issues including sticky gas pedals.