Car sales rebounding in River Region

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Randy Braden is on his way to owning a new car--one he says he wouldn't have bought a year ago.

"The whole financial well being of the country was in chaos somewhat and we just wanted to see things settle down a little bit," says Braden.

But now, that car is a little more enticing as positive news about the car industry and one of the country's largest car manufacturers surfaces.

A year after going through bankruptcy proceedings, General Motors filed the first set of paperwork to hold an initial public offering of stock.

The company's goal is to eventually rid itself of the government's 61% ownership stake.

That news restores Braden's confidence as well as some local car dealers--since last year's sales relied heavily on the government incentive program--Cash for Clunkers.

Capitol Hyundai General Manager Stan Hurst says while his dealership hasn't suffered as much, he's glad to see other brands like GM doing better.

"If the rest of the industry is coming along, my feeling is we've made a lot of progress economically, and we have some staying power," says Hurst.

Don Rickard at Brewbaker Chrysler-Dodge says Chrysler's bankruptcy last spring isn't affecting their sales now. They're up nearly 40-percent.

"Brewbaker's been here since 1940, and I think that probably helped us more than anything," adds Rickard.

Still, he doesn't think the industry is running at full steam yet.

"It's rebounding," he says.

"I think it's holding its own," adds David Hite, who isn't letting the industry's ups and downs keep him from shopping.

"It's not really going great guns, but I think it's improved."

Managers say manufacturing plants are up and running, they're just not producing as many cars as before. That makes it harder for dealerships to get them right now. But managers say one thing is for sure, it keeps demand high, too.

Even if sales aren't up fully, managers say their service and parts departments are taking off because people are repairing their cars rather than buying new.

© Copyright 2010 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.