Even as 2013 cars sales stalled a bit in December, new-car sales overall still landed around 15.6 million units for the year. That's up 8 percent over 2012, and it marks the best sales since 2007. If 2014 sees similar gains, the experts are right: Happy days for the industry will be here again.
Does that mean happy days for the consumer? Yes, but with caveats. Even as discounts edged upward, ballooning MSRPs sent transaction prices to nearly $33,000 per car by December, according to CNW Marketing Research. Compare that to all of 2012, when transactions averaged as low as $30,184 at the beginning of the year. New cars got pricier, yet shoppers still bought them.