Edmunds: High October sales likely

October 28, 2011 12:00 AM

Edmunds has released its prediction for new car sales through the month of October, estimating total sales of 1,033,257 new cars. If this comes to fruition, it would represent a 13 percent increase over 2010 and bump the estimate for yearly sales up to 13.4 million - the highest total since Cash for Clunkers two years ago.

Analysts at the automotive research website attribute the brisk sales to the fact that there was pent-up demand for new cars. For months, many drivers have been putting off purchasing new vehicles, instead sinking money into auto maintenance and car repairs to keep their vehicles on the road. Eventually, these drivers need to buy a new car, and it just so happened that many did so in October.

However, senior analyst Jessica Caldwell says that industry watchers should not necessarily consider this to be a trend, and it's likely that the high sales were mostly an aberration that is likely to subside next month.

"October's sales numbers are certainly a bright spot in a sluggish economy, but it would be a mistake to believe that this momentum is the 'new normal,'" said Caldwell. "Unless early holiday incentives inspire droves of buyers in November, we don't expect sales to increase on the same trajectory as we have seen in the last two months."

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