Local car sales running at full throttle


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Posted Online: Sept. 04, 2013, 6:02 pm
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By Tyler Langan
Car sales across the nation are the highest they have been in years, and some local dealerships are having trouble keeping new models on the lot.

"Our whole issue right now is getting product," said Mike Grems, sales manager at Reynolds Ford in East Moline. "We're struggling to get enough product for the amount of sales wehave."

Nationally, new car sales increased by 24.3 percent from 2008, when the auto market took a downturn, to 2012, according to a 2013 report by the National Auto Dealers Association.

Local dealers attribute the increase to improved products, a growing economy and incentives.

"We've hadgreat incentives, a lot of support from the manufacturers that we havethat has kept everybody interested as far as consumers go," said Mike Wolf, general sales manager at Courtesy Car City in Moline.

Mr. Wolf said Nissan and Kia have lowered vehicle costs and offered cash incentives and low interest rates.

The average price of a new car increased 0.8 percent from 2011 to 2012, and the amount dealerships make from selling new vehicles increased 12.8 percent during that time, the NADA report said.

Jill Green, owner of Green Chevrolet in East Moline, Green Family Hyundai in Moline and Green Buick-GMC in Davenport, said new car sales at her Davenport and East Moline dealerships are up 10 percent from the year before. Green Hyundai has been open less than a year, so she couldn't make a year-to-year comparison.

"We expect the new car sales to continue and increase over last year'ssales," she said. "They're so affordable now that a lot of people are going new."

Mr. Grems said Ford has opened a new manufacturing plant in Michigan to keep up with demand for vehicles that were primarily produced in Mexico. He said the company is increasing production through the end of the year, which is rare for automakers.

Last month's sales at Reynolds Ford were up about 20 percent over last year, and Mr. Grems said he thinks his company is in a good position to maintain strong sales.

"For us, it's a combination of the economy and the quality ofthe product," he said. "I think it's just a better product and a better looking product."

Dan Rettig, general manager of Piehl Automotive dealership in Geneseo said sales have been sluggish the past few years, but things are really picking up. He said Piehl sold more Cadillacs by April of this year than they did in all of 2012.

"Right now I don't see any stopping at all," he said. "We're getting a lot of traffic in here with great attitudes."

















 



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