Local car dealers seeing mixed bag of business

By: Shalah Sasse Email
By: Shalah Sasse Email

News 12 This Morning, February 11, 2009

AUGUSTA, Ga.-- We live in an economy where people are trying to save.

"They can easily afford the repairs also so right now a lot of these people are just choosing to repair their vehicle and keep it maintained," C & C Automotive owner, Aaron Clements said.

Aaron Clements says more of his customers are maintaining their car rather than trading it in for a new one. C & C Automotive says they've seen a 10% increase in their business. They also say their customers are more cautious and want to know the details about what's being done to their car. Clements says when someone comes in for an oil change they do an inspection and make a priority list. Here's an example:

1.) front brakes $165
2.) tires $150
3.) transmission flush $225
4.) power steering flush $135

These four can add up fast, and that's why Clements says the last two on the list can go a couple of months before fixing. He says safety comes first, dependability second, and comfort is the last priority.

And empty car lots are becoming a familiar sight for Erich Braun. He works at Auto Credit Sales and Rentals in Augusta and says about 6-8 used car lots have closed on Gordon Highway within the past year.

"We lost a neighbor a few months ago, and I think there's probably as many lots that have closed down that are still open," Erich Braun said.

He says their business has increased during this dipping economy because of their low prices. In fact, in the last month Braun says they sold 35 cars, a year ago that number was 32.

Over at Acura of Augusta, dealer manager Rick Brady says the economy has slowed down their sales, but they've seen a big increase in their service department.

"Well you know, it's not going to stay like this forever. The biggest thing is we gotta get through these trying times, and we'll just get through this and once we get through this, it will go back. It's been like this before," Rick Brady said.

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