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2011 Auto Sales Could Reach Highest Total Since 2008

This year, Hyundai and Kia are expected to have the highest increase in new car sales.

Automotive sales have slumped over the past few years, but analysts at TrueCar and Edmunds predict that by the end of 2011, new car sales could reach 12.8 million units, the highest total since 2008.

“This year new car sales are up year over year for every major automaker except Honda and Toyota with Hyundai/Kia sales expected to rise the most at almost 28 percent,” said Kristen Andersson, automotive analyst at TrueCar.com. The natural disasters in Japan in March slowed production for Honda and Toyota.

TrueCar.com’s Vice President of Industry Trends and Insights, Jesse Toprak, notes that while there wasn’t a “blockbuster sales month” this year, there has been a steady growth in auto sales, so much so that the industry could sell 13.8 million units in 2012.

Edmunds.com has slightly lower predictions for 2012, and projects that 2012 will close with 13.6 million auto sales. If TrueCar’s forecast is correct, 2011 auto sales will be up 1.2 million units compared with 2010, according to USA Today.

Several variables have led to the increase in new car sales. “That's thanks to factors like decreasing unemployment, improved credit availability and a larger portion of the population looking to replace older vehicles,” says Autoblog.

Shoppers who want to buy a new car soon should shop now. As 2011 comes to a close, automakers have increased their incentives on 2011 models. There are also some outstanding deals on 2012 models. Take a look at the Top 12 Holiday Car Deals and the best car deals for December 2011

Shopping for a new car? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars. You can also skip negotiating with a dealer by using our Best Price Program. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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