New car sales are up for the second consecutive year in North Carolina and beating the national average.
The Charlotte Observer reports that new car sales rose 12.5 percent in 2011, compared to the national average of 10.3 percent. The state Automobile Dealers Association says North Carolinians bought nearly 354,000 new cars last year.
The association predicts new sales won't return to 2007 levels, when nearly 462,000 vehicles were sold, until 2015.
Yet some Charlotte dealers say their 2011 sales nearly reached 2007 levels.
Association executive director Loretta Allman says many dealers were just trying to survive amid and following the Great Recession. Now they're investing in remodeling and upgrading their facilities. Allman says that shows optimism.