Twenty-one percent of local consumers are thinking about buying or leasing a vehicle this year, according to a new survey by Huntington Bank.
Huntington released results from its first Midwest Economic Index Tuesday, which surveyed 2,133 adult consumers in the bank's market region - Ohio, Michigan, Western Pennsylvania, Indianapolis and West Virginia.
The survey found that 66 percent of consumers in the region do not plan to buy or lease a new car this year, down from 76 percent who did not buy or lease a new vehicle last year.
Huntington Bank auto finance division director Rich Porrello said the fact that fewer people were against buying a new vehicle was a sign of economic improvement.
"The convergence of pent-up demand, improved credit scores, greater access to credit, aging vehicles, low interest rates, and high trade-in values have all created a perfect storm of buying for the automobile consumer in 2013," Porrello said.
"With these factors, consumers are recognizing that there has never been a better time to visit their auto dealership to purchase a vehicle," he said.