Auto industry sales in 2011 are expected to top 12.8 million cars and trucks, the highest level since 2008, industry website TrueCar.com said today.
The projection means manufacturers will sell 1.2 million more vehicles than in 2010 when the industry sold about 11.6 million new cars and trucks.
In 2008, when the recession first caused auto industry sales to rapidly decline, manufacturers sold 13.2 million cars and trucks.
"This year was absent of a blockbuster sales month but we see this pace of growth as healthy and sustainable in the coming year where the industry is going to sell nearly 14 million units based on the merits of its products and improved economy," Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends for TrueCar.com said in a statement.
Next year, TrueCar expects total industry sales will increase to about 13.8 million cars and trucks.
Last week J.D. Power and LMC Automotive forecast that total industry sales for 2011 will be about 12.7 million -- slightly less than the TrueCar forecast -- and 13.8 million next year.
Edmunds.com projects that 2011 will close at 12.8 million sales and 13.6 million in 2012.
In December, Chrysler again is likely to stand out among manufacturers with a 33.8 percent sales increase while Honda, which has struggled with inventory issues caused by flooding in Thailand, could see sales declined 15.9 percent. Sales for Hyundai and Kia are projected to increase 39.9 percent in December, TrueCar said.
The results for Honda and Chrysler in December mirror their performance over the year.
"This year, new car sales are up year over year for every major automaker except Honda and Toyota with Hyundai/Kia sales expected to rise the most at almost 28 percent," Kristen Andersson, automotive analyst at TrueCar.com said in a statement.
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