Auto retailers have best July in seven years

August 2, 2013 12:00 AM

The economy has continued on the slow road to recovery for several years, and that has been especially true in the automobile industry as consumers become more confident in their buying ability. This confidence surged once again in July, during which the automotive industry enjoyed its best month for vehicle sales in seven years. There were 1.32 million cars sold in July, which is up about 14 percent from 2012, The Detroit News reported.

Retail sales tend to increase during the summer months, but these findings are particularly encouraging because the percentage of sales made to individuals, rather than to businesses or the government, was higher. In fact, 86 percent of cars sold last month were to individuals. Last year that figure stood at 83 percent. 

"Retail demand is not just steady, it's improving," Alec Gutierrez, a senior analyst at auto-pricing site Kelley Blue Book, told the newspaper. "More and more consumers are getting back into the marketplace to replace aging vehicles."

The increase in sales is especially high among pickup trucks. According to the Los Angeles Times, pickup sales generally don't improve until the later months of the year, but they were the fastest-growing variety sold during the first seven months of 2013.

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