New car sales rise in Lucas CountyWritten by Patrick Timmis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
New car sales are up in Lucas County for 2011.
Through the end of June, 10,795 new cars have been sold, compared to 9,393 through June 2010 and 9,247 in 2009.
According to the Lucas County Clerk of Courts office, which compiles the numbers, the monthly average to date is 1,799 new cars, as compared to averages of 1,566 for the first half of 2010 and 1,541 for 2009.
June was the best month this year and second best in the past three with 2,098 new cars sold.
Dave White Chevy has seen a 36 percent increase in sales, said Dave White Jr., the dealership’s president and a board member of the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association.
But White said several local dealerships have disappeared within the last year.
“We are selling the same amount or a little bit more with less brands and dealers,” he said. “Those numbers are being absorbed by the dealers that are left in the metro area.” Other brands have suffered, he said, particularly from Japanese makers such as Toyota, Honda and Acura due to Japan’s recent tsunami.
Enthusiasm about the gains is tempered, said Dan Zinni, who is in charge of finance for the Toledo Automobile Dealers Association.
“That’s coming off a downer of a year or two, but speaking with our guys, they’re cautiously optimistic we’re turning the corner,” he said.
Meanwhile, home foreclosures — at a total of 1,350 — are significantly down, with 668 fewer than this time last year and 932 fewer than in 2009.
“We took a little deeper look at those numbers, and they’ve been coming down consistently,” said Ed Sitter, president of the Toledo Board of Realtors. “We’re very encouraged by that.”
The shocks of unemployment have flushed through the system, he said, opening the opportunity for people to take advantage of lower interest rates. In addition, home prices have stabilized and supply and demand for homes have come into balance.
“I think there is a very fragile recovery taking place,” he said. “I think we are going to see an increase [in] the amount of sales over last year in the months of July, August and September.”