2012 was a banner year for the automotive industry, as dealerships around the country sold more total cars than any year in the past five years, since the recession began.
Locally, Chevrolet of Naperville saw a 15% jump in the number of new vehicles it sold.
“I remember 2009, when General Motors just finished their bankruptcy and so that was really tough times and now we’re looking into 2013 and last year was so much better than back then,” said Wayne Michor, General Sales Manager for Chevrolet of Naperville.
Infiniti just opened a new dealership in Naperville in mid November after experiencing a 40% growth in their sales last year.
“There are so many reasons that automotive sales have picked up,” said Steve Camp, Executive Manager of Infiniti of Naperville. “You’ve got higher demand for pre-owned cars which is driving up the price of trade-ins. People in our area – more of them are out shopping, looking, they’re wanting to replace those 10-year-old vehicles and we see it everyday.”
Consumers are even dipping into their savings to purchase higher end cars. The average American spent more than $31,000 on a vehicle last year. BMW had its best year in sales ever. The Bill Jacobs BMW dealership on Ogden Avenue, had a strong finish.
“I think a lot of it was pent up demand,” said Grant Paullo, General Manager for Bill Jacobs BMW. “People were differing purchases for a long time and in 2012, things really came together and in December, we finished the year with up 12% so it was a great year.
Nationwide, new car sales climbed to about 14.5 million cars last year, up more than 13% from 2011. Dealers say that’s a reflection of greater consumer confidence and lower interest rates.
“The banks are not only loaning low interest rates, but they’re giving loans to more people, a broader spectrum of people, and they’re giving consumers many more choices in product that’s driving down the payment,” said Camp.
While the auto industry is still below it’s average of 16 million units sold per year prior to 2008 when the recession began, sales are rebounding and dealers hope to continue that upswing over the next year. In fact, car sales are expected to reach more than 15 million vehicles in 2013, nearing pre-recession levels.
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