Automotive

AUTOMOTIVE: Car, pickup truck sales taking off

Times Board of Economists - Report from Tim Roper, owner of Smith Motors Auto Group
2013-07-21T00:00:00Z 2013-12-18T16:23:24Z AUTOMOTIVE: Car, pickup truck sales taking offJoseph S. Pete joseph.pete@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com

The auto industry has been having a pretty good year, and has been been boosted by a surge in pickup truck sales, said Tim Roper, owner of Smith Motors Auto Group.

About 7.8 million vehicles have been sold nationally so far this year, as compared to 7.2 million vehicles at the same time in 2012. Auto sales have been fast improving since bottoming out at 12 million units a year.

“The car business has changed dramatically since the once-in-a-lifetime deal where automakers were saved by the government," Roper said. “The newly remodeled companies put more money into research and improving the technology. These cars and better.”

General Motors, Ford and Chrysler have gained market share for the first time in 20 years. The technological improvements have helped drive the average price of a new vehicle to $31,000.

Sales in Northwest Indiana still have lagged behind the national figures, and even in the greater Chicagoland area, because of jobs, Roper said.

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