Auto sales will likely cross the 16 million mark in 2013 for the first time since 2007, a consulting outfit predicts.

Sales stayed at 16 million a year or above through most of the last decade before falling off a cliff when the recession struck. The recent bottom was 10.4 million new cars and trucks sold. This year sales should hit 13.2 million, says consulting firm A.T. Kearney. By 2013, the most likely scenario is that they will finish above 16 million, according to USA Today.

The fact that the current auto fleet is just plain wearing out is driving sales. Many drivers deferred buying a new car during the recession. Gradually, those drivers will be forced back into the market.

When sales plummeted a couple of years ago, many weak brands folded. Witness General Motors’ rejects like Saturn, Hummer and Pontiac. But as sales come back, new brands will likely emerge. Kearney says between 2010 and 2014, there will be a 28% increase in the number of nameplates.

Contact Larry John Wright, Inc for ways to increase sales during the recession. 1-800-821-5068 or