Car sales on the rise locally despite economic slump

Steve Knoll is not surprised that car sales have been flourishing despite the sluggish economy. Knoll, general manager of Betten Preferred Buick GMC, said car sales are soaring at the Grand Haven dealership. "We're having good, consistent growth,' he said.
Len Painter
Sep 14, 2011

Knoll said new models offered by Buick and GMC, as well as enticing rebates and good service, have led to the steady increase in car sales at his dealership.
The Buick, he said, is no longer considered just “your father’s car.” Knoll said the Buick Enclave crossover, Regal and LaCrosse are popular vehicles for people of all ages.

Buick sales, he said, were up 19 percent in August and that the GMC Terrain sales increased 72 percent from a year ago.

An added incentive for car buyers has been lucrative rebates, Knoll said.

“Every single model we carry has zero-percent interest, and rebates can save as much as $9,000 on some trucks,” he explained.

Knoll said he anticipates car sales to continue to remain strong.

According to Autodata Corp., August cars sales in the United States rose 17.5 percent, compared with the same month last year. Most major automakers reported healthy sales increases in August, led by Chrysler with a 31-percent jump. Toyota and Honda saw double-digit declines as they continued to struggle with earthquake-related car shortages.

“Consumers are inching back into buying items and some big-ticket purchases,” said Paul Ballew, a former GM chief economist who now works for Nationwide Insurance.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

Associated Press writers Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher contributed to this report.

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