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Car shoppers may have more options in 2013

Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 3:48:55 PM

Following the end of the recession, the automotive industry took a major hit. This resulted in lower car manufacturing rates and fewer consumer sales. However, as the U.S. economy continues to find its footing, these trends are expected to improve this year.

According to a forecast from PricewaterhouseCoopers, vehicle assembly is expected to increase roughly 5 percent during the course of 2013, to an estimated 83 million units throughout the world.

"Automotive companies remain cautious about economic conditions in Europe," said company global automotive leader Rick Hanna. "However, overall we estimate that the global automotive industry will prosper in 2013 from emerging market growth and remaining pent-up demand in the U.S."

As a result of uncertain economic condition in Europe, vehicle imports from countries, such as Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, could be limited in the coming months, the report said.

In contrast, pent up demand for vehicles as well as improvement in personal financial standings through the United States could push total transactions for the year to more than 15.3 million units, the report said. This would be a vast improvement from 2012's estimated 14.4 million sales.

More consumers shopping around
However, just because consumers are more willing to purchase vehicles doesn't mean they aren't taking their time with the car buying process, and much it has to do with improved reliability of automakers.

Reliability has become increasingly at the top of consumers' lists of must have when it comes to car shopping. To ensure shoppers drive off with the best possible vehicle, consumers are looking at an average 3.3 vehicles before making a decision, according to a report from J.D. Power and Associates. This is a vast increase from 3.1 vehicles in 2012 and 2009's average of 2.9 automobiles.

"Improved actual and perceived reliability has leveled the playing field, allowing many manufacturers to be considered among new-vehicle shoppers that may not have been considered in the past," said J.D. Power research director Jon Osborn.

To afford the purchase of a new vehicle, many borrowers utilize auto financing to make the transaction more affordable. Getting in touch with Home Loan Investment Bank can give a shopper a clear idea of how much car they can realistically afford.

Meanwhile, shoppers looking for a more affordable transaction, should consider a used vehicle, which often come with bargain prices.