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The downgrade of U.S. credit rating, the rollercoaster financial markets, and the 9.2 percent unemployment are weighing on Americans.  However, despite this people are moving forward.  Penske has found that economist maybe off base in predictions because sales are still moving forward because cars affect people’s livelihood despite financially devastating time.

Despite these economic struggles the industry a surprising trend has held strong. For those who are moving forward and purchasing vehicles in these crazy economy old habits are dying hard. A survey from AutoPacific plus our own experience at Penske Automotive dealerships across the country that buyers aren’t changing their automobile preferences despite high gas prices and less pocket money.  Surprisingly while small cares seem like the more fuel efficient, frugal choice less than a quarter of the population says it is on their wish list for next vehicle purchase. SUV’s followed by pick-up trucks still are the corner of the auto industry sales. Drivers claim that they would rather change their driving habits rather than change their mode of transportation.

Interestingly, a recent survey AAA found that 54 percent of Americans have not purchased a new car because of the financial burden.  Because of this owners are trying to keep up with minimum maintenance to keep their vehicle working.  This can be backed up by the study shedding light on the fact that about 25 percent of car owners neglected repairs and maintenance on their vehicles in the past year because of the slow economy, increasing the likelihood that they’ll face a major, costly repair. About a third of the surveyed population put off these repairs because they felt they couldn’t afford the $2000 to $1000 repair bill.  The auto industry has also found that people are less religious about routine maintenance like oil changes. Now rather than coming in for oil changes every 3,000 miles vehicle owners are waiting for 5,000 miles and beyond.

So how are you coping? Let us know what you think?

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