As the year winds to a close, Kelley Blue Book predicts new car sales in December will push the seasonally adjusted annual rate to 15.2 million units. At this time last year, the most confident predictions guessed the rate for 2012 would reach 15 million units. Since sales exceeded expectations, this is a clear indicator that the economic environment of the auto industry is continuing to improve. The rash of vehicle sales that followed in the wake of Superstorm Sandy certainly bolstered sales a bit, but this increase only lasted a little more than one month.
"Our analysts believe most buyers seeking a replacement for a vehicle damaged or destroyed by Superstorm Sandy already found the new or used car they needed in November," said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book. "There was some lingering replacement demand coming in from New York and New Jersey through the first week of December, but as the month went on, the sales pace in these states returned to pre-storm levels."
The 13 percent year-over-year increase in new car sales is also beneficial to the used car industry. In the past few years, there has been a high demand for used models, as many people turned to pre-owned vehicles during and following the recession to save money, and others held on to their vehicles for longer. This led to reduced inventories and drove up prices, but now that new car sales are on the rise, the cost of used models is beginning to ebb. Drivers looking to purchase used models can take advantage of the lower prices and find the car they want at New Jersey State Auto Auction, which has a wide selection of makes and models to choose from.