Subaru says its U.S. sales crept higher in 2008 on strong demand for Forester and Impreza models. The Japanese company is set to be the only major automaker to post an increase in yearly sales.

Subaru of America says its December sales fell 7.7 percent to 17,287 units from 18,739 units last year, as a big increase in Forester sales failed to overcome declines in its remaining models.

But Subaru's sales for all of 2008 crept higher by 0.3 percent to 187,699 vehicles from 187,208 in 2007 as customers snapped up its Forester and Impreza models.

Subaru is the first automaker to report December and full-year sales on Monday. The company is poised to be the only major automaker to report a sales increase for 2008 as the difficult economy pummeled new vehicle sales across the industry.

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