BANDON, Ore. — The used-car industry will top 40 million in unit sales in 2012, CNW predicted. If its projection holds true, the feat would mark the first time since 2007 that the segment has rolled that many vehicles.

“That’s a 4.5 percent gain over last year’s 38.8 million,” wrote CNW’s Art Spinella in his firm’s December newsletter. “For franchised dealers, 2013 was a very good year, with sales up more than 8 percent, while independents only had a modest increase of less than 2 percent.

“Even though private party sales have taken a hit lately, the channel was able to score a 3 percent gain for the year, riding to more than 11.5 million units.”

For December, used-car departments operated by franchised stores are likely to sell more than 1.15 million units, which would bring the segment’s sales for the year to 15 million units. That total is also a million more than what independents are likely to sell for the month. Both segments realized double-digit increases in the first half of the month vs. a year ago, Spinella noted.

Private party sales, however, were running 28 percent behind last year, with sales for the segment expected to reach 900,000 units in December. Last December, the segment sold 1.2 million units. Spinella said solid trade-in values from dealers contributed to the slowdown in sales for this segment, as well as a “growing number of shoppers who were undecided about buying a new or used car falling into the new-car side.”

As for his outlook for 2013, Spinella wrote: “Expect private party sales to remain soft, with franchised dealers grabbing a larger overall share of total used sales — perhaps as much as 40 percent, depending on the strength of the new-car market.”