Car sales are up - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Car sales are up

February 21, 2003

Albany -- When tax refunds roll in, a lot of you buy cars or trucks. And it's evidenced by car sales right now. A lot of dealers expect record sales this month.

John Darling gets the keys to the new 2003 Suburban he just bought at Wallace Chevrolet. Wallace General Manager Buddy Carver said "February started back in as a real great month, so sales have been consistent for us."

 I.R.S. refund checks are making sales reps happy. Tax time can make or break smaller car lots. Boswell Motors Salesman Brad Royal said "Absolutely it effects our business. It's the time of the year people have a little extra money to come down and put down on a car, and get 'em a nice ride. Traffic is good. We've had a lot of pre-shoppers come in and they're just waiting on that refund to come in and come in and get that new car."

New car dealers are faring well, too. Carl Gregory Chrysler Plymouth Sales Manager Shawn Evans said "A good fifty percent of what we do, whether it's new car or pre-owned cars, a lot of people doing the filing taxes online and getting their money back a lot quicker, and bringing it as a down payment and that's helping a lot this time of the year."

 The good news for you, is competition is tough in car sales, and right now, it's a buyers market. Royal said "All the new manufacturers are offering zero percent financing and that's forcing a lot of people to go ahead and do that new car. And when you do that, that floods the market with used cars, so they are out there, anything you want."

Even if you are not in the market for a car, strong auto sales are good news for the economy. Carver said "I think so, I think stronger car sales are, the stronger manufacturing is. The stronger the other support industry is. If one is doing good the other falls right on in with it."

Almost every new and used car dealership we talked with in Albany reported their sales are up at least 20 percent over 2002.

posted at 3:15 by jimw@walb.com