There are signs of life at last in the struggling North American auto industry. New car sales in the U.S. were up last month, compared to the same time last year. It’s the first sales jump in nearly two years. The US$3 billion cash-for-clunkers program played a big part, and there are worries that sales may drop off again now that that it’s over. But the worst appears to be over for most car makers. Ford was the big winner, with a 17 per cent jump in sales. Even its big F-series pick-up trucks are selling again (up for the first time in three years). But there are still a few dark spots: General Motors and Chrysler saw sales drop 20 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively.