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Auto sales up 34% in March

WARREN — Automobile dealers in the Mahoning Valley posted their second consecutive month of growth in March from the previous year, when the viral outbreak stunted what was setting up to be a promising year for sales.

Dealerships reported selling 6,002 cars last month, a 34 percent increase from March 2020, halfway through which restrictions to slow the spread of the virus caused consumers to stay at home rather than bargain on lots.

In March 2020, dealers in the region had sold 4,458 vehicles.

The latest data from the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association also shows sales are up 5.6 percent in the first quarter of the year to 14,483. The rebound in March helped dealers push ahead of last year’s pace after lackluster sales in January and February — a two-month stretch that saw sales fall 8.5 percent from 2020.

The new and used vehicle segments were up in March — 38 percent to 3,154 in new and 31 percent to 2,781 in used — as well as for the quarter, which saw an 11 percent jump in new vehicle sales and modest 0.36 percent increase in the used segment.

Dealerships in Mahoning County with the most sales in March to local buyers were Boardman Subaru, the overall top-selling dealer in the Valley, 336; Greenwood Chevrolet, 311; and Fred Martin Ford, 283.

The top new vehicle sellers for the month were Sweeney Chevrolet, 205; Boardman Subaru, 198; and Fred Martin Ford, 185. The top used vehicle sellers for the month were Boardman Subaru, 138; Greenwood Chevrolet, 129; and Taylor Kia of Boardman, 118.

Across the 23 northern Ohio counties in the dealers’ association, new vehicle sales were up 25.1 percent in March and 7.65 percent for the year, again thanks to the robust sales last month.

“With the COVID-19 restrictions in place by mid-March of 2020, we expected the March 2021 numbers to be quite positive in comparison. As we have tracked for more than 10 years, March generates the highest new vehicle sales of any month of the calendar,” Louis A. Vitantonio, dealers association president, said.

business@tribtoday.com

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