Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Car, Truck Sales Increase 26.5% in First Quarter

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Car, Truck Sales Increase 26.5% in First Quarter

Article excerpt

New car and truck sales, both domestic and imported, increased 26.5 percent during the first quarter of 1988, according to figures released Wednesday by the Metropolitan Automobile Dealers Association.

New and used car and truck sales by the 43 members of the association reached 15,441 for the first three months of 1988, compared to 12,204 sold in 1987, the association's figures showed. The first quarter 1988 total also was up 17.9 percent from the 13,086 sold in the fourth quarter of 1987.

The increase marks the first rise in sales recorded by the association's quarterly report since the second quarter of 1987, when the survey was first made public. Prior to that, informal surveys of manufacturers' representatives by The Journal Record showed new domestic car sales had declined for two straight years.

Improvements in the area's economy, as well as improvements in attitudes of consumers, are responsible for the increased sales, said W. E. "Bill" Roby, the association's executive director.

"These figures show a definite trend," he said. "It appears as if we are out of the doldrums of slow automobile and truck sales.

"There's no question in our minds that the general economy in the metropolitan area is improving."

Used car sales showed the largest growth of any category, up 35.5 percent to 6,029 from 4,449 in the first quarter 1987.

New car sales, during the first quarter of 1988, totaled 9,412, up 21.37 percent from 7,755 in the same period of 1987.

The big surge in sales, Roby said, came in March, spurred by the International Auto Show held in the Myriad in late February.

"The indication is that an awful lot of people in the ... area came down to the Myriad," he said, "to make plans to purchase their new or used vehicle and did so.

"And it appears that the same enthusiasm created (there) is carried over into April. We anticipate that the second quarter of 1988 will show similar gains that we had in the first quarter. …

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