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Auto sales up on Labor Day

Posted: September 9, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 9, 2011 1:55 a.m.

While many people went out of town for the Labor Day weekend, a sizable number of local consumers went car shopping — and made purchases. Brisk sales dominated the weekend for the automotive dealers interviewed by The Signal.

“The street (Auto Row) sold 450 cars,” said Don Fleming, president of the Santa Clarita Valley Auto Dealers Association.
As a whole, local dealers sold 180 more cars than the previous weekend, he said.

“Sales were up 20 percent,” said Lenny Sage, owner of Mercedes-Benz of Valencia and vice president of the dealers association.

Now is also a good time to buy, said Daniel Sterkel, general manager of Nissan of Valencia. There are 2011 models left, but the 2012 models will soon be in.

“We sold more on Labor Day weekend than the prior owner did in all of September the year before,” Sterkel said.

Many consumers, who had previously put off purchasing a car, were buying out of necessity, Fleming said. Some of the autos traded in had a lot of miles on them.

“We sold everything we had,” Fleming said of his dealership Valencia Acura. “We have 18 new cars left.”

It was a healthy weekend, Sage said. Consumer traffic was good, and people were upbeat and enthusiastic as well, compared to holiday weekends in the past few years in which people had a sense of caution and concern for the economy.

“People didn’t have as much of a sense of caution this weekend,” Sage said. “This Labor Day weekend was more like a typical holiday weekend we might have had back in 2008.


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