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Consumers Poised to Buy More Vehicles in 2014


buying a car

COLUMBUS, OH--Feb. 13, 2014: Huntington Bank’s Second Annual Midwest Economic Index reveals that 22 percent of consumers in the states of Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia, Indiana and Western Pennsylvania are considering buying or leasing a vehicle in 2014. This is a 1 percentage point increase over last year as analysts forecast one of the best years in auto sales since before the recession.

“And we’re witnessing tremendous consumer enthusiasm at sponsored auto shows across the Midwest in response to the increasing sophistication among manufacturers that are pushing to define a whole new generation of cars and trucks on the road today.”

“We’re projecting an increase in auto sales in 2014 as consumers’ needs align with a buyer’s market,” said Rich Porrello, director of Huntington’s Auto Finance division. “And we’re witnessing tremendous consumer enthusiasm at sponsored auto shows across the Midwest in response to the increasing sophistication among manufacturers that are pushing to define a whole new generation of cars and trucks on the road today.”

Of respondents considering a vehicle, 55 percent report they will buy or lease a new car—up from 52 percent last year. Thirty percent of respondents—down from 32 percent last year—will choose a used car.

New auto sales, after hitting a low of 10.4 million units in 2009, have rebounded to four consecutive years of increases and the expected increase in 2014 would be the first time since the 1930s the industry would have five years of consecutive growth. With the average age of all light vehicles on the road at a record-high of 11.3 years, according to data released by automotive research firm Polk (recently purchased by IHS), consumers’ needs are growing. This data, combined with consumer optimism about the U.S. economy, forecasts another strong year for the automotive industry.

With the continued expansion of its indirect lending business, including entry into Connecticut and Iowa in 2013, Huntington’s auto loan volume totaled $4.2 billion last year, as the bank financed more cars than during any other time in its history. A record 205,000 vehicles were financed, enough to stretch end to end from the bank’s Columbus, Ohio headquarters to Macon, Georgia.

More information about Huntington Auto Finance is available at Dealer Sales.

Ebiquity conducted the Midwest Economic Index survey over the last weeks of October 2013 as a random sample of consumers in western and eastern Michigan, northern, central and southern Ohio, Indianapolis, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, with statistically relevant responses available for each region.

Methodology

The Huntington Bank Second Annual Midwest Index Survey was conducted by Ebiquity among 2,169 adult consumers within the five Midwestern regions of the Huntington Bank Community – Michigan, Ohio, Western PA, Indianapolis, and West Virginia. Consumers participated online from October 23 through 31, 2013. These findings have a margin of error of +/- 2.1% at a 95% confidence level.