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Vehicle sales rise, bolstered by interest in AWD

Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 9:25:40 AM

With a high number of buyers interested in auto financing, the number of vehicle sales has been on the rise, supported in part by a stronger desire for all-wheel drive options.

According to TrueCar, February's seasonally adjusted annual rate reached 15.4 million new vehicles, which marks 1 percent year-over-year and 0.6 percent month-over-month increases. In addition, used car sales were estimated to be at 3,302,000 units, while fleet and rental sales are predicted to tick up 2.9 percent in February, compared to the same time last year.

Perhaps one reason for the rise in sales at the start of 2014 has been the demand for all-wheel drive vehicles. Cars.com reported an approximate year-to-date increase in this segment of 20 percent.

"It's clear that automakers planned for this growing demand in all-wheel-drive vehicles, anticipating regional needs, and car shoppers responded as expected," said Jesse Toprak, chief analyst for Cars.com. "Our estimates show that Mid-Atlantic states, such as New Hampshire and Vermont, ranked among the highest in per capita all-wheel-drive sales, a strong indicator that both climate and recent weather conditions amplified consumer demand within the region."

In addition, 57.1 percent of the total all-wheel drive inventory is found in these two regions. On a state-by-state basis, New York led the way at 10.4 percent, followed by New Jersey.