2011 U.S. auto sales to reach the highest level since 2008 image

Auto sales in 2011 are expected to reach 12.8 million cars and trucks, the highest level since 2008, according to industry website TrueCar.com.

The forecast means manufacturers will sell 1.2 million more cars than in 2010, when 11.6 million new cars and trucks were sold. Back in 2008, when the economic recession led to the rapid decline of auto industry sales, manufacturers sold 13.2 million cars and trucks.

“This year was absent of a blockbuster sales month but we see this pace of growth as healthy and sustainable in the coming year where the industry is going to sell nearly 14 million units based on the merits of its products and improved economy,” read the statement from TrueCar.com. For 2012, TrueCar expects total industry sales to increase to about 13.8 million cars and trucks.

Last week J.D. Power and LMC Automotive forecast that total industry sales for 2011 will reach 12.7 million, with 13.8 million expected for next year. Edmunds.com projects that 2011 will close at 12.8 million sales and 13.6 million in 2012.

For the month of December, Chrysler may report a 33.8 percent sales increase, while Honda could see its sales slashed by 15.9 percent. According to TrueCar.com, Hyundai and Kia sales are expected to increase 39.9 percent.