Snyder: "I think financing is more readily available than it has been. Secondly, how long can people go without replacing their automobile?"
Steve Snyder chairs the California New Car Dealers Association. He says many drivers have put off buying new cars throughout the recession, choosing to have them repaired instead. But now, with a stronger credit market and higher gas prices, they're deciding it makes more sense to ditch the clunkers and buy new, fuel efficient vehicles.
Still, Snyder says he doesn't think auto sales will climb all the way back to where they were before the recession.
Snyder: "Unemployment would have to go down; real estate values would have to go back up; people would have to pay down their credit card debt; credit would have to be a lot easier to obtain, even for subprime people."
But auto sales are projected to gradually rise over the next few years - and for dealers like Snyder, that can't come soon enough.