A Ford Fusion on the Blake Ford lot. Small car sales have picked up over the summer, and Travis Futrell, sales manager, said the Ford Fusion Hybrid has been a top seller. -- STEPHEN COWLES | TIDEWATER NEWS
A Ford Fusion on the Blake Ford lot. Small car sales have picked up over the summer, and Travis Futrell, sales manager, said the Ford Fusion Hybrid has been a top seller. -- STEPHEN COWLES | TIDEWATER NEWS

Archived Story

Area car dealers pleased with summer sales

Published 11:47am Wednesday, August 14, 2013

BY STEPHEN H. COWLES/STAFF WRITER
Stephen.cowles@tidewaternews.com

FRANKLIN—A recent Associated Press story on summer car sales noted that July was a good month overall for dealers in the country. Local dealerships can testify the same.

The article noted how overall pickup trucks have been in the forefront during the past six months. Yet, customers wanting new small cars noticeably picked up in July and that hasn’t slowed.

Travis Futrell, sales manager for Blake Ford, said he’s seen a 50/50 variety of new and used car sales.

“There’s been an increase from last year definitely,” Futrell said, adding it was a 10 percent-plus rise in sales; the national average has been 11 to 12 percent.

He noted two models have stood out at Blake Ford.

“Explorers and Ford Hybrid Fusions have really increased sales,” Futrell said, pointing to a factor for each: The Ford Hybrid gets 47 miles per gallon, and the Explorer’s redesigned body style in 2012 have been quite the draws.

The article noted, “Sales of the recently redesigned Ford Fiesta subcompact jumped 89 percent, while the Toyota Prius hybrid was up 40 percent.”

One of the reasons for an increase in small car sales is due to the weather, the article said, pointing out that small cars generally do better in summer.

Christian Mayes, an auto analyst with Edward Jones in St. Louis, was quoted as saying truck sales will increase more next season. Further, “he also expects car sales to remain strong through the rest of this year because short-term interest rates should stay low, keeping payments down.”

Futrell also noted that cyclical nature at the Ford dealership.

“Pickup truck sales have been a little slow these past few months, but I expect an increase in September and October with rebate incentives,” he said.

Overall, Futrell’s not complaining.

“Things are going great,” he said. “They really are.”

Another area dealership pleased with sales so far is Mike Bouma, general manager at Cars and Credit in Courtland.

“The summer is generally a little bit slower, but it’s been very steady, actually,” Bouma said. “It’s been a good summer.”

But there’s been no particular model that’s dominated in sales at Cars and Credit, he said, adding that there’ve been several large truck sales, full-size vehicles and economy-minded cars that have been driven off the lot.

While there have also been no discernible trends at Mike Duman Chevrolet Buick GMC in Franklin, general sales manger Mike Martin has no reason to be worried.

“Every day is different. We sold three Silverados just on Monday,” Martin said.

“We have been having one of the best summers in history.”

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