Overall, analysts said the industry eased up on promotions such as rebates and low-interest financing. Car and truck buyers paid an average of US$31,228 per vehicle last month, up 1.8 percent from December 2011.
The Polk auto research firm predicted even stronger US sales for this year, forecasting 15.3 million vehicle sales as the economy continues to improve. Polk, based in Southfield, Michigan, expects 43 new models to be introduced, up 50 percent from last year.
New models usually boost sales. However, the firm’s optimistic forecasts hinge on Washington reaching an agreement on government debt limits and spending cuts.