JD Power: Higher Transaction Prices Seen

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J.D. Power and Associates - December 31, 2012

As 2012 wraps up, possibly the most important trend for the U.S. auto industry is that new-vehicle sales continue their recovery, says Tyson Jominy of J.D. Power and Associates.

Find out more about what the experts see for 2013.

[Assuming a solution to the fiscal cliff] Growth is expected to continue into 2013—our retail sales forecast for next year is 12.25 million units.

While industry sales volumes are increasing, they are still well below the levels recorded in 2004-2007, when annual retail sales were in the 13-14 million-unit range. The primary reason that the industry has not rebounded to these record sales levels is a change in focus among OEMs. Automakers now emphasize strong transaction prices in addition to sales volumes.

The average price of used cars retailed by dealers has risen from an average of approximately $18,100 per vehicle in 2011, to around $18,300 at the end of 2012. Like last year, this increase occurred despite the fact that the vehicles being sold are older and have higher mileage (a function of the reduced supply of recent model-year used vehicles).

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