In the past 30 years, the United States auto industry has gone through many changes. In order to stay competitive with a foreign market, constantly threatening to eat away at profits, the American auto industry has had to respond by being flexible and adapt itself to this new situation. Although, in the past, they were slow to get the message sent out by the consumers, the domestic auto industry now seems to be more than willing to analyze, and answer, the demands of a smarter, savior consumer. The growth of the used car field has been a result of these demands.
Rising, higher prices for new cars have caused the typical American consumer to examine alternate solutions for their transpiration needs. As the average car on the road is 8 years old, compared to 5.8 years in 1970, the signal to the auto industry has been that cars are being built better and consumers are not afraid to buy them.
Of course, this choice does not come without an opportunity cost for the consumer. A used car will generally be bought on the condition 'as is' or, at best, with a very limited warranty. If a buyer of a used car drives off the lot and finds they have purchased a vehicle that needs lots of money spent on it for repairs, they may possibly find themselves out of luck. Another downside may come as more people continue to saturate the market, looking for used cars to buy, the resources available will become scarce. An increase in used car prices may gradually start to rise. As the figures indicate, for now consumers seem to be content with taking this risk. Sales for used cars and trucks last year totaled at 15.1 million(going on your article's figures).