Toyota: Pent-up demand for new cars to slow

NEW YORK — Toyota’s top North American executive said the pent-up demand that’s been driving sales of new cars will likely dry up in 2014.

North American CEO Jim Lentz saidt the demand came from people who kept cars through the recession. The average age of a car on U.S. roads hit a record this year at more than 11 years.

As buyers have gained confidence following the economic downturn, they’ve replaced aging cars. Lentz says that demand could be satisfied by late next year.

He says if that happens while the economy is still sputtering, auto sales may flatten out.

Auto sales have helped fuel the U.S. economic recovery for the past two years. Sales this year are at the best pace since 2007.

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