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Consumers with good credit driving auto demand

Jan 14, 2011 Brian Bradley

The auto industry suffered significant drops in revenue during the recession, but that trend is changing thanks to consumers with the highest credit scores, the Associated Press reports. Demand for cars and light trucks will improve in 2011 in large part because consumers with higher credit scores now have the financial stability to invest in a new vehicle. According to the AP, more than 60 percent of car leases set to expire in 2011 will come from those in the "super prime" category - or those with a consumer credit report above 720. Addtionally, 30 percent of those with leases about to expire fit in the "prime" category, having a consumer credit report between 660 and 719, or "near prime" which represents scores of 620 to 659. "These folks are either going to have to buy the car they've been leasing or get something new in 2011," Peter Turek, automotive vice president in TransUnion's financial services group said to the AP. "That's a good sign for lenders." Morningstar forecasts 11.5 million cars will be sold in 2011 - roughly a 10 percent increase from the 10.4 million sold in 2010.