US auto industry looks ahead to another good year

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012

DETROIT (AP) -- After hitting a 30-year low in 2009, U.S. auto sales are poised for a second straight year of growth in 2012.

Experts say it's the result of easier credit, low interest rates and pent-up demand for cars and trucks created by the Great Recession. Also, millions of drivers in their teens and 20s are expected to buy vehicles, too. That could mean more jobs and overall growth.

The sales forecast bodes well for the industry's continued recovery and for the broader American economy. In 2012, car sales could climb as high as 13.8 million, close to what experts consider a healthy market -- around 14 million.

Automakers report U.S. sales for 2011 today. When final figures are calculated, sales of new cars and trucks are expected to reach 12.7 million, up from 11.5 million in 2010 and 10.4 million in 2009, the worst year since 1982.

(Copyright 2012, The Associated Press)

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