The recession greatly reduced consumers' ability to purchase vehicles," says Ruiz. Unemployment and asset price declines, including for homes and stocks, cut into consumers' incomes and savings. Consumers with poor credit (a large portion of industry customers) have been among the worst hit. Consumers with D-grade credit spent $11.0 billion at used car dealerships in 2009, a 51.7% decline from 2008.
Fortunately, relative economic stability is encouraging spending on used cars. For example, used car sales are expected to grow to 41.5 million vehicles in 2014, up 1.5% from 2013. The US economy will begin growing strongly again in 2014, and because car sales typically move with the business cycle, car sales are expected to follow suit.