Car Dealerships Seeing Improved Consumer Confidence

LAS VEGAS -- Other than enjoying a day off from work, most might consider President's Day a low key holiday. But for car dealerships, it is one of the busiest days of the year.

Jim and Joan Truono started off their President's Day with a goal of hitting as many car dealerships as possible as they hunt for the right holiday deal. "I usually shop around more," Jim Truono said. Never did the couple think their first stop would be their last.

"I'm very satisfied with the deal I made," he said. The Truono's new Prius is just one of about 35 cars that will be sold Monday at Findlay Toyota. In better economic times that number would be around 70 cars. Even so, General Manager Rich Abajian says he is seeing an improvement among consumers.

"The confidence this year compared to a year ago and definitely compared to two years ago has skyrocketed," Abajian said.

He adds that some buyers are looking to save money over the long term.

"Our best deals are on the Prius and the Camry which people are pouring into buy because of the rising gas prices and with Prius getting the 52 miles per gallon and with incentive on them, people are just buying them like crazy," he said.

"I always wanted to get a Prius for the gas mileage and as far as I'm concerned, that is the only hybrid to buy because of space and room and everything else," Truono said.

The Truono's say buying the car wasn't necessarily about consumer confidence but instead about thinking ahead. They hope to save at least $1,600 a year on gas.

Dealerships also report that pre-owned luxury cars are also selling well while they are seeing a decline in some truck sales.


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