US Auto sales to rise 12.5% in 2012 image

Sales of new vehicles in the United States should exceed 14 million vehicles in 2012 – 12.5 more compared to 2011 despite the economic situation and a housing market that still hasn’t recovered, Edmunds said.

According to the same source, the average age of cars that consumers are trading in when they buy a new car is now more than six years old, the oldest since 2007.

The encouraging April figures come on the heels of the best quarter for auto sales in the United States since the first three months of 2008, before gas prices spiked and the financial crisis hit its peak.
“The first-quarter strength in new vehicle sales was not a blip or an accident — we’re seeing stable growth in new vehicle sales,” said Jesse Toprak, an analyst with sales tracker TrueCar.

US dealers sold 1,184,567 new cars and SUVs last month, up 26,644 from the same month in the previous year. The result takes the US industry to 4.65 million sales for the year, up 10 per cent from the 4.22 million vehicles sold over the same period in 2011.

“We continue to believe in a moderate pace of recovery in the economy and with the car market, and certainly May has got a better pace than April had,” Jonathan Browning, CEO of VW’s U.S. unit, said in a telephone interview.

In addition, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday that factory production rose 0.6 per cent in April, erasing a 0.5 per cent decline in March.

Half of the April increase reflected a 3.9 per cent jump in the production of motor vehicles and parts. That’s the fifth consecutive gain at auto plants and the biggest rise since January.

Overall the market remains on a steady recovery track from the historic lows it suffered during the recent recession, said Jesse Toprak, an analyst at auto price information company TrueCar.