(UNDATED) - As the economy continues what appears to be a slow recovery, one analyst says a good sign that things are picking up is that sales of new cars are rising.
Kelley Blue Book says that when sales numbers for June come out later this week, they should show strong gains for virtually every automaker. The car information provider projects an overall six-percent increase for the auto industry over June of last year.
"All the manufacturers have gotten much smarter about how they are selling vehicles and how many they are making," said Jeff Daniels, general manager of Toyota and Scion of Muncie. "Vehicles are not as distressed, meaning they are not pushing too many onto the lots and forcing the dealership to discount too much."
One reason sales may be picking up is that car owners are seeing their vehicles finally wear out. "Right now in the U.S., the average vehicle on the road is approaching eleven years old, and that's about as old as it has been in many decades," said Daniels, which, he adds, could be creating pent-up demand for newer cars.
While sales of pickup trucks are high regardless of gas prices, Daniels says economy cars are also selling well, but not necessarily because of their gas mileage. "All the manufacturers have doubled down on redesigning these vehicles to be loaded with a lot of great features, whether it be navigation or something that pairs with your smartphone. A lot of them are getting 38-to-40 miles per gallon, even with a standard gasoline engine."
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