DAILY NEWS Jan 2, 2013 10:14 AM - 0 comments

Research firm predicts strong 2013 U.S. auto sales

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An improving economy and a host of new models should push U.S. auto sales above 15 million units in 2013, according to a Michigan-based auto industry research firm.

The Polk research firm says auto sales should continue to lead the country’s economic recovery. Polk predicts 15.3 million new vehicle registrations this year, up nearly 7 per cent from 2012.

Automakers release December and full-year sales for 2012 on Thursday. Analysts predict sales of around 14.5 million, the strongest year since 2007.

Polk expects 43 new models to be introduced this year, up 50 per cent from last year.

New models usually boost sales. The company also predicts a rebound in large pickup truck sales.

The optimistic forecast firm hinged on Washington reaching agreement on spending cuts – an agreement that was reached early in January.

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