New car sales increase in February

February 26, 2013 12:00 AM

Sales of new cars are expected to end February on a high note. predicts that sales for the month will total about 1.2 million units, which would be a 5.7 percent increase from the same time last year and a 16.5 percent increase from last month. 

The seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR), which measures a long-range prediction of sales, is also holding steady. If the predicted outcomes hold true, SAAR would remain above 15 million vehicles for the fourth consecutive month, which is a strong indicator of economic recovery, Reuters reports. 

"The usual strength of the full size truck segment in February helped industry sales to nearly reach the 15.7 million SAAR mark, despite gas prices increasing," said Jesse Toprak of "Pent up demand for pickup trucks by small businesses will be a critical factor in this year's continued sales recovery." 

Drivers are being drawn to new cars thanks to the more affordable prices offered by manufacturers, as well as some impressive redesigns. Used car sales are also increasing, up by nearly 200,000 units compared to this time last year, indicating that long-term vehicle maintenance and worthwhile car repair are extending the lives of certain models. 

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