DALLAS — The purchase and financing of an average-priced new vehicle took 22.9 weeks of median family income in the second quarter of 2012, according to Comerica Bank’s Auto Affordability Index. Consumers on average spent roughly the same amount on new cars in the second quarter of 2012 as they did in the first quarter.

“Auto affordability improved by 0.3 weeks of median family income, but that was not enough to boost auto sales in the second quarter of 2012,” said Robert Dye, chief economist at Comerica Bank in Dallas. 

“Tepid job creation and slow-to-moderate income growth in the second quarter weighed on retail sales, even though interest rates remained near historic lows. Households may be feeling better about unleashing their pent-up demand for automobiles in the third quarter, with August light vehicle sales rising to a 14.5 million unit annual rate.”