Early projections from automotive research website TrueCar.com indicate that the auto industry is off to a good start for 2012, although sales are down compared to last month.
The industry tends to sell more cars at the end of the year than the beginning, so a 30 percent drop in new car sales from December was expected. However, TrueCar predicts that automakers will sell approximately 875,000 new cars for the month, which would be a 7 percent increase over January 2011.
"The underlying consumer demand for new vehicles continues to improve at a steady pace. For the first time in several years, we are starting the year off with a warm and fuzzy feeling of the good-old-days where the industry and the consumers are once again focused on the excitement of the new cars - and not which car company is going to survive," said Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends and insight for TrueCar.com.
Whether you're planning to buy a new car this month or are relying on an older model, paying attention to your car maintenance can be beneficial. Even if you plan on trading your current car in, taking care of any nagging car repairs beforehand can up your trade-in value.