Averaging October’s govt shutdown reduced report with November’s bounce back approx = today’s Dec releases. So levelish sales for the quarter, and a leveling off in general post Jan tax hikes vs a prior multi year upward slope.

* GM, Ford, Toyota, Chrysler December U.S. sales all miss

* Ford sales up 2 percent

* GM sales down 6 percent

* Toyota sales down 1.7 percent

* Chrysler sales up 6 percent

By Bernie Woodall and Ben Klayman

DETROIT, Jan 3 (Reuters) – The top four automakers in the U.S. market missed December sales expectations, but 2013 will still easily be the best year for the industry since before the recession.

General Motors Co said that the U.S. auto industry will have December U.S. auto sales at a 15.6 million-vehicle annualized selling rate, well below the 16 million vehicles expected by 27 economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

The late December holiday season is generally one of the heaviest sales periods at U.S. auto dealerships.

Sales that may have occurred in December were pulled ahead to November because of a late-month, four-day Thanksgiving weekend, said John Felice, head of sales at Ford Motor Co.

December auto sales were also hampered by snowy and icy weather over parts of the country late in the month, said Chrysler spokesman Ralph Kisiel.

Each month, auto sales are seen as an early indicator of consumer spending.

For all of 2013, U.S. auto sales are expected to finish near 15.6 million vehicles, up about 8 percent.

That would be the best sales year since pre-recession 2007, when 16.1 million vehicles were sold in the U.S. market. At the height of the recession in 2009 sales fell to 10.4 million.

GM’s sales fell 6 percent, to 230,157 new vehicles, below analysts’ expectations of a slight sales gain.

Sales of GM’s Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck fell 16 percent in the month.

Ford’s sales rose 2 percent, to 218,058, also below analysts’ expectations. Its F-Series pickup truck, the best-selling model in North America, had an 8 percent sales gain in December.

Toyota’s U.S. December sales fell 1.7 percent to 190,843 vehicles, versus expectations of a slight gain.

Chrysler expects the industry to show a December annualized selling rate of 15.8 million vehicles.