YAKIMA, Wash.-- Good news for the auto industry this year. As the country continues to deal with a sluggish economy, cars are flying off lots across the U.S. and right here in our region.
Auto companies are not releasing their numbers just yet, but analysts predict a 13% increase in car sales nationwide. That comes out to over 14 million cars sold, the highest it's been since 2007.
And dealerships we spoke to across the Yakima Valley and Columbia Basin have also seen big growth.
Toyota of Tri-Cities says they have seen a 20% increase in sales this year.
Stewart Subaru in Yakima has had a 31 percent increase. They say it was a great year to buy, with good incentives and awesome local rates; people were finally back in the market.
"There were an awful lot of pent up buyers. I think people have been sitting on the sidelines for a while, hanging onto those used vehicles a little big longer then they normally would have based on economic conditions," said Mark Prater, the General Manager at Stewart Subaru.
Some dealerships we talked to say December has also been a great month. Even with the looming fiscal cliff, many buyers have not been deterred. Toyota of Tri Cities says they saw an increase of almost 20% in December alone.