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Sales of new vehicles start off year on positive note

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Feb 13, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Despite poor weather that included two major snow storms and consistent temperatures below freezing, sales of new vehicles in Northern Ohio started off the year on a positive note.

New cars and light truck sales grew by more than three percent when comparing January of 2014 with the same month a year prior, according to figures released today by the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association (GCADA).

“Any time you can report positive growth, it is good for our industry as well as the overall economy in Northern Ohio, which is so dependent on the automotive industry,” says Louis A. Vitantonio, president of the GCADA. “This growth is even more significant because it came during a period of bad weather, which usually has an adverse impact on sales. In addition, January of 2013 registered a 14.9 percent increase over January of 2012, so we were going up against some pretty strong sales figures during the month.”

The retail automotive industry in Northern Ohio sold 19,053 new vehicles in January of 2014 compared to 18,455 vehicles during the same month last year. A total of 20 brands registered sales increases for the month.

The numbers do offer some insight as to the impact of adverse weather on the market. While the area’s leading brand, Ford, sold 3,398 vehicles in the month, sales dropped 1.34 percent over January of 2013. Similarly, Chevrolet saw relatively flat sales in the month, selling 2,612 vehicles in January of 2014, just one vehicle shy of what it did last year. However, brands that offer four-wheel drive vehicles such as Jeep and Land Rover roared out of the gate. Jeep sales rose 28.49 percent when comparing January of 2014 with the same period a year prior, while Land Rover rang up a sales increase of over 64 percent for the month.

Offshore brands Toyota and Honda saw modest growth in the month, the former taking over third place selling 1,637 to Honda’s 1,603 vehicles in the month. Toyota registered an increase of over ten percent for the month, while Honda’s increase was almost five percent. Hyundai rang up an increase of over 12 percent in the month, while its sister company Kia rang up a sales increase of just over four percent.

20 brands up in January (‘14 v. ‘13): The following brands posted sales increases in January of 2014 versus January of 2013: Acura, Cadillac, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Saab, Smart, and Toyota.

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