Santa Monica-based Edmunds.com is projecting 15 million new car sales nationwide in 2013, a 4 percent increase over 2012.
Pre-recession new car sales peaked at around 17 million units.
Still, the 2012 sales total of nearly 14.5 million vehicles is a 13.5 percent increase over 2011 and the highest annual total since 2007.
"What's especially encouraging is the current competitive strength among the automakers," said Lacey Plache, Edmunds' chief economist. "Consumers will continue to benefit from exciting new models and technologies -- and potentially lower prices -- as automakers continue to battle for market share."
The Sacramento-based California New Car Dealers Association will release 2012 numbers in a few weeks. CNCDA has already projected 2012 statewide new car sales -- including fleet sales -- to come in at about 1.6 million units, which would be a 24 percent improvement over about 1.29 million in 2011.
Most Popular Stories
- 15 Myths That Could Ruin Your Hispanic Ad Campaign
- General Motors Names Mary Barra as First Female CEO
- Cold Dis-comfort: Antarctica Set Record of -135.8
- Obama Delivers Speech at Mandela Memorial: Transcript
- Uruguay Gets Ready for Legal Marijuana
- Oldaker Takes Center Stage at Entrepreneur Awards
- Slow Week Ahead of December FOMC Meeting
- Hispanics Seek to Grow School Board Members
- Russia Says Nyet to Canada North Pole Claim
- 'Knockout Game': Myth or Menace?