Auto industry experiencing strong start to 2013

Monday, January 28, 2013

According to a report by LMC Automotive and J.D. Power and Associates, after having a strong sales year last year, the automotive industry is expected to grow even further, as January numbers are already better than experts initially anticipated.

The report expects January sales will reach 812,000 vehicles in 2013 or a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 12.9 million units. That's well above the 12.4 million unit seasonally adjusted annualized rate both groups expected going into the month. LMC Automotive has raised its sales forecast for the year by 100,000 units to a seasonally adjusted annualize rate of 15.1 million.

LMC Automotive has increased its sales forecast for the year by 100,000 units after finding out the year is off to such a good start. The group's predictions translate to a seasonally adjusted annualize rate of 15.1 million.

According to the joint report, the auto industry's light vehicle production averaged 15.4 million units last year, up 18 percent from 2011. Americans poured into new car dealers in such high numbers, primarily because the cars were once again affordable after the recession took hold and demand has since been pent up for cars.

"Demand remained strong throughout the year as the average light vehicle age reached 11 years (a record high), the share of subprime loans grew to ease credit availability and the economic scenario improved," said Mike Hanley, global automotive leader at Ernst & Young. "Vehicle sales got another boost toward the year end, as customers rushed to replace their damaged vehicles in the aftermath of the Superstorm Sandy."

Preserving a car's resale value

A Consumer Reports study last year showed that you could save $30,000, on a 15-year-old car with 200,000 miles on it, instead of trading it in for a new car every five years.

One of the best ways to preserve a car's resale value is to install Husky Liners® vehicle floor mats. These mats keep cars' carpets untouched by any moisture or damage.

"Most people focus on the purchase price, the reality is a car is a depreciating asset, it's worth less with each passing day," said Jeff Bartlett, auto editor at Consumer Reports. "And, it depreciates more when it's relatively new. You want to pick a car that's not only going to meet your needs today, but is built to adjust to your lifestyle in the years ahead."

In addition to custom fit floor mats, the user manual will offer helpful tips on maintaining the life of a vehicle.