Light vehicle sales in the United States rising 13.4 percent in 2012 from a year earlier shows that the industry continues to show improvements from the depths of the recession, said automobile dealership owner Tim Roper.
However, Roper said the 2012 sales level was more than 3 million vehicles less than levels seen in 2007. About 14.5 million new cars and trucks were sold last year, according to Autodata Corp.
At the depths of the recession, many new car dealerships struggled with an inventory glut as sales stagnated. But Roper said in recent months, dealerships selling various brands have dealt with supply constraints on the most popular models as manufacturers are building cars closer to demand levels.
Roper said vehicle trade-in values are rising in conjunction the rise in used vehicles prices. Between 2009 and 2011, the National Automobile Dealers Association estimated that the average price of used vehicles up to eight years of age rose 19.7 percent, or $2,356.