The auto industry is maintaining the momentum it built up in January, according to Santa Monica-based Edmunds.com.
Edmunds today forecasted sales of 1,045,587 new motor vehicles nationwide by the conclusion of January, which would represent a nearly 15 percent increase over January 2012. California saw a 25 percent surge in new vehicle sales in 2012 compared with 2011.
"January's numbers show that vehicle sales stayed strong even after the holiday ads faded away and the replacement sales following Hurricane Sandy started to dry up," said Edmunds analyst Jessica Caldwell.
Edmunds estimated that fleet transactions will account for 19 percent of total sales.
The automotive information company also estimated that 3.21 million used cars will be sold this month, up from 2.7 million in January 2012.