Car sales are up nationally for 2011 and numbers show that sales went way up for many automakers over the past year. Some companies even had the best year of sales since 2009. Most local dealerships say they saw varying levels of sales increases and some did see lower numbers than others.
Nationally, car sales numbers were at a 30 year low in 2009 thanks to unemployment and difficulty getting loans, but this year numbers are different. Chrysler reports seeing a 26% rise in sales across the U.S. The local Nissan dealer says things went up about 13%, but Toyota saw a bit of a drop.
Willy Sullivan of Sullivan Toyota says, "Nationally, Toyota is down probably 8 or 9% overall in an industry that's up about 8 or 9 %."
Sullivan says it was the earthquake and tsunami in Japan that caused production and sales numbers to drop. "The tsunami did in fact hurt all the Asian brands, Honda and Toyota in particular, but they are back I'd say almost to 100% capacity now."
He says locally, sales did not change much from 2010.
"It was relatively flat. All the numbers are not in, but I think we will come in around 8,000 in total units compared to 2012, it was about the same right around 8,000 units," says Sullivan.
But numbers are expected to drastically improve during the year. Analysts are projecting 2012 to see even more of an increase than 2011 and that's for Toyota too.
"Toyota is forecasting a robust 20% upside," Sullivan says.
With Americans more willing to purchase cars because of a more encouraging economy, those who have held out on buying may be showing up to dealerships this year.
"Overall it should be a pretty good year for us," says Sullivan.
Auto sales experts say automakers can expect to see a 10% increase for sales in 2012.