In the U.S., car sales in July rose 14%. Some analysts believe 2013 could be on pace to be the industry's best sales year in more than a decade. "What we're seeing is people who have held off on car purchasing for a long time get back into the market," says Jessica Caldwell, analyst from Edmunds.com.
The two biggest factors bringing buyers back are low interest rates and high demand. "You see a lot of great deals advertised, like 0%, 1.9%, so the fact that the car companies themselves are paying less to lend out this money, they are able to pass along that saving to the consumer," says Caldwell. As for demand, it is up across the vehicle spectrum. "A lot of the new models are driving interest, from a big Chevy Silverado to a small Honda Civic," she says. "With all the new safety features, technology features, entertainment features, that is all helping drive sales." The biggest demand in July was for smaller fuel-efficient cars and for something near and dear to Texans--pickup trucks. "Trucks are also playing a big role in this recovery of the auto industry," says Caldwell.
General Motors continues to lead all automakers in sales, but Toyota leapfrogged Ford to take second place last month. Ford is still a close third, followed by Honda in fourth and Chrysler in fifth. Every major brand saw an increase in sales, led by Subaru with a 42.9% rise, according to USA Today. Whether the industry maintains this torrid sales pace remains to be seen, but Caldwell warns that the current low interest rates will eventually go up, so now is a great time to buy.
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