New car sales 20 percent higher in first half of this year

New vehicle sales in San Diego County rose 20 percent in the first half of 2012 over the same period of 2011, according to a quarterly report by the trade group New Car Dealers Association (NCDA) of San Diego County. The increase is more than double the improvement nationally which came in at 9.9 percent.
Several brands have seen increases topping 40 percent so far this year, NCDA said. Passenger cars have seen a 22.1 percent increase as compared to the first six months of 2011 and light truck sales are up 17.4 percent for the same period. Sales of hybrid and electric vehicles continued their upward trend, achieving an 8 percent local market share, the highest level in three years.
The report cites three important factors that are driving this year’s sales increases, including consumers’ ability to finance vehicle purchases, reduction in consumer debt and accumulated demand from the past three years. The dealers group is projecting that sales for 2012 will be 17.1 percent higher over 2011.