This April, Major auto manufacturers in the U.S. saw the highest sales numbers in at least five years.
Since the recession hit in 2008, economists have kept a close eye on indicators like new car sales and home sales to see how the country is doing.
In 2013, new home sales and the stock market have been at all time highs; the increase in new car sales is another sign that things are looking up.
Nationwide, automakers like General Motors, Ford Motors and Chrysler took huge hits late in 2008, but this April, they all saw increases of 11 to 18 percent from 2012—approaching or even beating pre-recession numbers.
Here in Sioux Falls, local dealerships are also feeling the improvements.
"For Sioux Falls, I think we've all been in a little bubble when it comes to the recession," said Mike Larsen, the General Manager at Vern Eide Acura.
"We definitely saw a little bit, I wouldn't say as much as the whole nation felt," said Billion Buick GMC salesman Brian Haiar.
But that doesn't mean Sioux Falls dealers escaped the effects of the late 2008 decline.
"It was a severe drop in volume at that time, and we're really gradually coming back from that and we're now approaching those same numbers that we had the first part of 08," said Larsen.
"Everything's been going up since 08 and I think that's true for everybody and its been going up consistently a little bit more every year," said Haiar.
Like the national statistics, Sioux Falls' dealers saw a big increase in new car sales this April, almost putting them at pre-recession numbers.
"We're not quite there yet, but we're really close and I expect that we'll be there by the end of the year if things continue trending the way they are," said Larsen.
One of those trends is the shift from used to new car purchases.
"It just means that people are starting to see value in the benefits you get from purchasing new," said Haiar.
"You can get the warranty packages...there's the new car smell obviously and looking at the odometer seeing that its got like three or five miles on it and knowing you get to put the rest on there," said new car shopper Matt Pajl.
"We've just all in general seen more traffic on the lot these days and if that trend continues, it's better for all of us," said Larsen.
One indicator in Sioux Falls shows that new vehicle sales should increase this summer. Car industry experts say higher levels of new home construction helps boost pick-up truck sales. Sioux Falls already has a record number of new building permits in 2013.
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