New vehicle sales in Iowa continue to rise, with Iowans registering 136,668 new vehicles in 2013, up 4.8 percent from the 130,420 registered in 2012.

"All you have to do is visit a dealership showroom to understand why Iowans are buying new cars and trucks at near-record levels," said Bruce Anderson, president of the Iowa Automobile Dealers Association. "Quality, innovation and excitement are all back in the new vehicle lines. These sales numbers show that it’s a really good time to buy."

Since bottoming out in 2009, new vehicle sales in Iowa have risen steadily. In 2013, Iowans purchased the most cars since 2007, and truck sales increased from the high reached in 2012.

Automobile dealerships are a vital part of Iowa’s economy. According to the National Automobile Dealers Association, the sales at Iowa’s new-car and -truck dealerships totaled $7.6 billion in 2012, the latest year for which that figure is available, representing 13.6 percent of the total retail sales in the state.

These are the new vehicle registration totals, listed by year, followed by car totals, truck totals and a combined total: 2007, 52,178, 70,807, 122,985; 2008, 48,805, 65,196, 114,001; 2009, 41,035, 54,985, 96,020; 2010, 37,236, 66,461, 103,697; 2012, 47,772, 82,648, 130,420; 2013, 49,345, 87,323, 136,668

The Iowa Automobile Dealers Association is a trade association representing more than 300 car and truck dealers in the state. The association was established in 1919.