POSTED: Monday, April 23, 2012 - 3:30pm
UPDATED: Monday, April 30, 2012 - 12:10pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — For car dealers, one word sums up the auto market:
"Phenomenal,” stated Nissan dealer Frank Figueredo, Jr. “One word: phenomenal. It's, we're going back, the industry is going in levels we thought weren't going to happen and they're happening right now. The auto industry - the car business - is phenomenal."
While gas prices are on the minds of many, auto expert Jerry Reynolds says that's not the biggest factor in the sales boost.
"The average age of the car on the road is the highest it's ever been, more than 10 years old, and people are making that buy or fix decision and with the fuel efficiency of the cars that are available, they're opting to buy," said Reynolds.
And buying they are. The latest auto sales figures show car sales are up 20 percent; SUV's are selling too: sales are up 12.3 percent; truck sales are up 7 percent.
All this information tells analysts like Reynolds that gas prices now aren't changing the minds of many when it comes to car selection.
"It tells me that people have gotten immune to the gas prices. They're used to it, they expect it now, and they are absolutely just saying, ‘If i have to cut back somewhere else, I'm going to drive what I want to drive.’"
Reynolds says dealers are giving consumers more for their trade-in as well, which helps push potential buyers from skeptical to sold.
"If you haven't looked at a car in a while, you'll be surprised at how affordable they are, how fuel efficient they are, and if you've got a trade-in, you're going to be real surprised what it's worth."
A friendlier market for buyers and sellers has those in the market putting the rubber to the road.