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Harsh reality of new-car dreams

   Thinking of hanging onto that car? You're not alone.

   The recession has hit home -- and the garage. A new study by DriverSide.com and Kelton Research shows that more than four out of every five U.S. car owners now plan to keep their current car longer, due to the bad economic climate.  According to the survey of owners aged 18 and over, 82 percent said they now intend to keep their car longer than originally planned.

   The data confirms the end to the cycle of frequent new car buying. New-car sales, originally predicted to be over 16 million units, plunged to 13.2 million, according to a January report by CSM Worldwide.  The analyst firm also predicts 2009 new car sales will come in at only 11.5 million units, a 27-year low.



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