TrueCar.com: New and used vehicle sales are up 8 percent over last year

TrueCar.com recently released its forecast for August car sales in the U.S., and overall sales are increasing. New vehicle sales are estimated to be 8 percent higher than they were in August 2010. Jesse Toprak, the vice president of industry trends and insights for TrueCar.com, said that the improvements are not as high as expected, due to economic uncertainty, but the increases are still promising.

“Product is king, not incentives, and this month really proves that,” said Kristen Andersson, an automotive analyst at TrueCar.com. “Sales of Hyundai/Kia are up nearly 24 percent from last year, while incentives dropped by 26 percent, but on the other end of the spectrum, Toyota sales are down nearly 14 percent, even as they increased incentives by 18 percent.”

Late summer into fall is when dealerships begin offering more incentives on 2011 model year vehicles to make room in their inventories for new 2012 model cars, which could be a factor in the sales increases this month. This also makes it a good time to shop for a new car with an auto loan.

Drivers who are looking for used cars may also be in luck, as TrueCar’s analysis shows that even though used car sales have increased 4.7 percent since last year, they dropped 8.2 percent from July to August. Used cars have recently been outselling new vehicles, due to the unstable economy as well as the earthquake in Japan – which led to a drop in production, and a limited supply of new vehicles for sale. Since more people began to buy used, those inventories were depleted, which caused their prices to rise, My Fox Tampa Bay reported.

However, these figures indicate that the trend may be shifting. More new car sales will drive down the prices of used models, making it a good time to start thinking about buying a vehicle with a used car loan.

The increase in overall sales also indicates consumer confidence in the U.S. economy. During the recession, many reports were made that found drivers were holding onto their current vehicles longer to put off buying new vehicles, but TrueCar.com’s report is evidence that people are more willing to spend now.