Car Sales Speed Through 2011, Still Outpaced by 2007
Reflecting an emergence from the economic recession, car dealerships enjoyed an annual rise of 73.5 percent in the sale of new cars last year.
Together, Estonians purchased 15,350 new cars in 2011, according to the Union of Automobile Dealers and Service Companies.
In December, typically a bad month for vehicle sales, dealerships sold 1,156 cars, compared to only 729 during the same month in 2009.
Despite huge growth, sales are still tiny compared to the pre-recession years. For instance, 30,902 new cars were purchased in 2007, and 24,347 in 2008. Sales of all cars, new and used, peaked in 2006, reaching 74,000.
Although consumer borrowing has remained low, according to the central bank, automobile leasing continues to be one of the more active areas of borrowing, having seen an annual growth of 58 percent.
Sales were also boosted by government and company orders, Postimees has previously reported, as businesses who had been putting off updating their fleets during the crisis are now hitting the stage where the high cost of maintaining their older cars is making an update more attractive.