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Economist: New-Vehicle Sales to Continue Momentum in 2013

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Jan. 14, 2013—According to Paul Taylor, chief economist of the National Automobile Dealers Association, new vehicle sales should exceed 15.4 million in the U.S. in 2013, an increase of roughly 1 million from 2012.

"Pent up demand, affordable auto loans and enticing new-vehicle designs add up to a solid sales year that will outperform the overall U.S. economy," Taylor said in a statement.

As previously reported on, vehicles sales reached a post-recession peak in 2012. Numbers were up for all the major manufacturers, and deliveries were up more than 10 percent for the industry as a whole, marking the third straight year of such growth.

In his report, Taylor highlighted several factors that will support stronger auto sales in 2013:

  1. Pent-Up Demand – The continued replacement of cars and trucks that aged to a record level during the recession will propel sales this year.
  2. Available Credit – Low interest rates for auto loans, which are expected to increase in future years, will help motivate consumers to finance a new vehicle purchase in 2013.
  3. More New-Vehicle Choices – New-vehicle models with greater consumer appeal in design and fuel efficiency are headed to dealerships. About 50 new models will be introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
  4. Declining Unemployment – The falling rate of unemployment has led to improving consumer confidence.
  5. Used-Vehicle Shortage – The continued short supply of used vehicles for sale resulting from the past recession will cause some consumers to purchase new vehicles this year, instead of used ones.
  6. Fiscal Cliff Avoided – So far, modest action by Congress to avoid the fiscal cliff, which avoids some tax hikes, will result in more new-vehicle sales early in the year.
  7. Improving Home Values – Residential real estate prices are showing a recovery in nearly all states in the nation, increasing the typical family nest egg. As a result, consumers are more confident about spending on big-ticket items.

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