New-Car Sales Expected To Surpass 15 Million Units


IRVINE — New-car sales in 2013 are expected to surpass 15 million units overall, driven by replacement demand, low interest rates, and compelling product redesigns and introductions, according to Kelley Blue Book, the leading provider of new car and used car information. 

“These factors have kept vehicle sales moving forward despite powerful economic headwinds, and Kelley Blue Book analysts believe demand will remain strong enough to drive sales even further along next year,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book. “Although the economy is expected to continue to grow slowly in 2013, there is plenty of evidence to support another strong year of auto sales.”

“With vehicles on the road today being 11-years-old on average, there will be plenty of consumers needing to trade-up to something new to replace a vehicle on its last legs,” said Gutierrez. “A slew of buyers are expected to reach the end of their lease contract in 2013, and this should increase demand even further.”

Kelley Blue Book expects anywhere from 300,000 to 500,000 additional buyers to enter the market in 2013, thanks to the rebound in leasing that begin in 2010. Approximately 600,000 more vehicles were leased in 2010 compared to 2009 (when leasing nearly disappeared). Since the bulk of leases are written for two- or three-year terms, there should be a significant jump in consumers exiting their lease who likely will be in the market for a new vehicle.

“The industry has gone through a near complete rebirth during the past several years, with almost every product category shaken up from top to bottom,” said Gutierrez. “Last year there was a complete rehash of the compact sedan and crossover segments, while this year the mid-size category has gone through its own renaissance.”

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