Auto Industry making a comeback in 2011

By Curtis McCloud -   bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM)  -For almost three years, car dealerships across the country stood practically empty-- potential customers shying away because they simply couldn't afford to spend money on cars.

But according to a new report from the Associated Press, that could all soon change. Last year, new car and truck sales topped 10 million.

Columbus Legacy Chevrolet Cadillac general sales manager, Randy LaVoie, says that sales seem to be picking up.

"December was a great month for us here at legacy Chevrolet Cadillac, we had an outstanding month and I think business is going to keep strong all the way through 2011,"  LaVoie said.

Oil price analysts are saying it's a return to the golden age for car dealers back when businesses were booming but with gas prices projected to reach $5 a gallon this year that may not be the case.

"Legacy we are prognosticating that our increase should be about 15-20% over the previous year and I think it's going to happen," LaVoie said.

For now, $5 a gallon gas remains the worse case prediction by oil price analysts. Car dealerships like Legacy remain optimistic about this year.

"2009 was a very challenging year in the car business, 2010 was a much better year for us here at Legacy Chevrolet Cadillac and we are really looking forward to 2011," LaVoie said.

Lavoie says that the Chattahoochee Valley in particular could see a peak in auto sales and economic growth because of BRAC or base realignment and closure.

"We've got a lot of soldiers and civilian folks that are going to be moving into the community and I think the whole economy in Columbus is going to be better than 2010," LaVoie said.

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