- 
Listen To The Story
Marketplace

Car makers report their monthly sales today and they should get a nice bump from the long holiday weekend, and all those Labor Day sales you saw advertised.

August was expected to be pretty big anyway; the better the economy gets the more cars people buy (and, apparently, a lot of people need new cars).

"The average age of vehicles on the road today in the United States is over eleven years," says Michael Robinet, managing director at IHS Automotive "So, definitely the environment is right, interest rates are low, and buyers are out looking for vehicles."

And a lot has changed, especially fuel economy standards.

"Now you’ve got compact cars that are very commonly hitting 40 miles per gallon, give or take, but you still have much more flexibility and, let’s be honest, a cooler image from an SUV," explains Karl Brauer, a senior analyst with Kelley Blue Book.

He adds that new home construction is helping sales of pick-up trucks, and more electric cars are moving, too.

"There’s been almost a mini-price war that’s broken out among the manufacturers of electric vehicles," says Brauer.

Analysts say, across the board, new models are helping Honda, Ford and General Motors, in particular, to post some of the strongest sales since before the recession.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.