Local auto dealers talk car business

Robin Bradshaw

Local auto dealers weighed in on the car business in Alice. Consumers in the position to buy a new vehicle, might want to consider some of the best deals sales professionals have seen in decades.

Bowden Ford in Alice reported sales were down approximately 50 percent from mid March to mid April. "The dealership has seen a steady increase in sales the last few weeks, mostly attributed to the financing deals being offered," said General Manager Omar Silvas. "I have been in the business for 27 years and never seen these type of promotions."

The Alice Chevrolet dealership literally across the street from Bowden Ford reported their sales increased' during the pandemic lockdown from last year. "The dealership focused on community outreach supporting essential workers and marketing involvements with a community free mask give away when the pandemic started," stated the Alice Chevrolet General Manager Phillip Franks. "We have seen a steady flow in last few weeks in auto sales and are closely in line with last years numbers for May."

Although, the two dealerships might have conflicting sales data from the past two pandemic months they share the same sentiment that right now is a buyers market.

Edmunds.com, a California-based automotive data firm forecasts auto sales will have a financial comeback in the following months due to less air travel and increased road travel. Local consumers in the position to buy can speculate 'time might be of the essence' for a bargain deal.

What consumers can can expect when purchasing a new vehicle and the new accommodations for consumers not ready to shop in the store in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

* Financing promotions being offered now include: Zero percent annual percent rate of interest for 84 months or 120 days no payment due during the start of the loan.

*Shop around online and look for the best deal. Get price quotes from different dealers. Most bigger dealerships will have online staff that can help with questions when you click on their website to shop for cars online.

*Get an accurate trade-in appraisal, research online and contact a few dealers on a trade-in quote.

*Test drives can now be scheduled to come to your home with extended safety precautions in response to the coronavirus.

*Financing applications can be completed on online and local sales representatives will come to your home to finalize the customers financing contract and consumers paperwork.

*Delivery options are available after purchase at most automotive dealerships.

Note: Dealerships with higher inventory and 2019 model year vehicles still sitting on their lots, can see big discounts for their customers during the Memorial Weekend sales events. Full-size trucks are seeing an average discount of 17 percent, midsize SUVs are seeing an average discount of 14.4 percent, and subcompact SUVs an average discount of 16.3 percent compared to the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP). For 2020 model year vehicles currently on dealer lots, full-size truck list prices are seeing an average discount of 13.4 percent, midsize SUVs a discount of 11 percent, and subcompact SUVs a discount of 13.5 percent compared to the MSRP, according to Edmunds automotive research data.