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Mahoning Valley auto dealers end year down

WARREN — Automobile sales last month in the Mahoning Valley were off 7.1 percent from a year ago, a fitting, but unwelcome end to 2020 for dealers still trying to come back from down sales brought on the viral outbreak.

There were 4,357 deliveries in December, off 336 compared to December 2019, according to the latest report from the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association, which tracks sales in Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties.

For the year, dealers sold 54,873 vehicles to buyers in the three-county region. That marks a 7.2 percent decline from 2019, when they posted 59,155 sales, according to the dealers’ association.

New vehicle sales in December fell 5.2 percent, from 2,674 last year to 2,533. For the year, sales in the segment were down 11.6 percent to 29,126 from 32,981 in 2019.

Used vehicle sales for the month came in at 1,738, a drop of 11 percent from 1,954 in December 2019. The segment was 2.5 percent off for the year, which notched 24,324 sales compared to 24,951 last year.

Dealerships in Mahoning County with the most sales in December to local buyers were Sweeney Chevrolet, 244; Sweeney Buick GMC, 216; and Greenwood Chevrolet, 202.

For 2020, the best-selling dealerships were Sweeney Chevrolet with 2,821 vehicles moved, down 289 from 2019; Greenwood Chevrolet, 2,625, down 492 from the previous year; and Taylor Kia of Boardman, 2,451, down eight from 2019.

Sweeney also was the best-selling dealer in the Mahoning Valley.

The top new vehicle sellers for the month were Sweeney Chevrolet, 197; Sweeney Buick GMC, 152; and Greenwood Chevrolet, 142. The top used vehicle sellers for the month were Boardman Subaru, 81; Taylor Kia, 73; and Fred Martin Ford, 69.

For the year, Sweeney was the top seller of new vehicles with 2,024, down 257 from 2019. The best-selling dealership for used vehicles Taylor Kia with 1,080, down 37 from the previous year.

In the 21-county region the dealers’ association represents, sales of new vehicles for the month were up 1.7 percent in December compared to December 2019. The numbers for the year nearly held up to 2019 with dealers moving 236,832 new vehicles, a decline of 5.3 percent from 2019.

Demand for SUVs and trucks surpassed cars for the first time in April, according to the dealers’ association. Its president, Louis A. Vitantonio, said he expects that demand and growth to remain strong due to low interest rates and better inventory.

rselak@tribtoday.com

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