POSTED: Friday, March 23, 2012 - 4:38pm
UPDATED: Monday, March 26, 2012 - 9:47am
EL PASO — This year looks like a good year for the automobile industry since new car sales have surged in the last three months.
Americans are on pace to buy about 1.4 million new cars and trucks this month. That would put the industry on track to sell more than 14 million this year, which is more than most analysts expected.
Customers are back in auto showrooms across the nation and here in El Paso.
"Here at El Paso Honda we have seen an increase in sales," said Juda Escobar with El Paso Honda.
New car sales this year have put the auto industry on track for it's best year since 2007 when Americans bought 16 million new cars and trucks. Then the recession hit and sales dipped toward 10 million in 2009. Now sales are on the rebound. Last year, sales reached 12.7 million.
Experts said it's a combination of cheap financing, popular new models and rising consumer confidence.
Business owner Lucio Ibarra is picking up his new van and he feels confident making a big purchase in an improving economy.
"At this time, the business has the means to invest, which is the most important and also because it was a necessity to get new cars for the business," said Lucio Ibarra.
Higher sales and gas prizes have caused a shortage in fuel-efficient cars. But El Paso Honda said it has plenty hybrids to move off the lot.
"Right now with rising fuel costs, hybrids is a big vehicle that has become in high demand,” Escobar said. “We have a great selection of Civics and Civic Hybrids."
People, of all ages, said it's a good time to buy a fuel efficient car.
"Gasoline's going higher and they need to hurry up to get cars," said 5-year-old Emanual Ortiz.
Car analysts expect new car sales to slow down again in the months ahead.