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Average car buy up 5.6% in year

FILE - This Oct. 8 2011 file phoshows Vanderbilt football coach James Franklduring first half an NCAA college football game

FILE - This Oct. 8, 2011 file photo shows Vanderbilt football coach James Franklin during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Alabama, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Franklin is apologizing for what he calls an attempt at humor saying he considers the looks of an assistant coach's wife before deciding whether to hire. The coach apologized in a string of comments on Twitter on Thursday, May 31, 2012, for comments he made Wednesday to a Nashville radio station, 104.5 The Zone, broadcasting beachside in Destin. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)

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Updated: July 6, 2012 11:08AM

The average sticker price on new car buyers selected over the Memorial Day weekend was $36,213, up 5.6 percent from the same weekend last year, according to CNW Research.

Recession buyers often bought because they had to, and took stripped-down models.

Now, buyers are more confident and are demanding goodies. “They love all the features,” says Mike Jackson, CEO of AutoNation, the largest U.S. dealer chain. And, “they are willing to pay more for fuel-efficient technology.” That technology, such as direct-injection engines and turbocharging, is driving up car prices, though it should bring long-term savings on gas.

Gannett News Service

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