Out with the new and in with the old at local car dealerships

James Tindell and his wife look over the used truck they purchased.
James Tindell and his wife look over the used truck they purchased.

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - James Tindell is one of many folks going the used car route.

"We looked at new ones, but new ones were just too high. So we tried to find one like this. I think it's a pretty good deal on it," says Tindell, referring to his newly purchased 2005 truck.

It's a win-win deal for Tindell, but also for the dealership.

Stan Hurst at Capitol Hyundai says Tindall and others are keeping his business afloat right now.

"If it weren't for the pre-owned sales it would have been a very disappointing month," says Hurst.

Many dealers, including David Ingram at Jack Ingram Motors, know how hard it's been in the last year.

The Cash for Clunkers program may have boosted sales temporarily, but they lost a lot of inventory.

Combine that with fewer vehicles being built, and "we don't have a very good supply of new cars compared to what we have had historically," says Ingram.

That means, "used cars have kinda come in and taken its place," adds Ingram.

The new car lot at Ingram's Volkswagon dealership is like many in Montgomery. It's only about 1/4 full.  And while dealerships wait on new inventory, some are changing up their sales strategies to keep business rolling in on the used car lot.

"We're getting more scientific about stocking the type of cars that move faster...that are more popular," says Ingram.

"For the first time in a long time [we] created an advertising spot featuring the certified, pre-owned cars," says Hurst.

They're strategies that seem to be working.  Even the used car lots are "barren..because we can't get them prepared and on the lot quick enough before they're gone," says Hurst.

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