80ºF

2015 a very good year for car sales

Dealers offering deals to make room for 2016 models

SAN ANTONIO – Never mind it was chilly and damp Friday, Wes Evans was looking to rev in his new year by looking for new wheels and deals.

"Absolutely. That's what drove us out here," he said while perusing the new SUVs.

Dealers are still throwing in those end-of-year discounts and incentives to move the 2015s off the lots and make room for newer models.  For them, the holiday stretch is the most wonderful time of the year.

"Exhausting, good exhausting," said Chris Franklin, general sales manager at Toyota of Boerne. "We were probably selling 40 to 60 cars every single day. So, to us, it feels like our Super Bowl."

When all of the nationwide sales numbers are tallied next week, 2015 looks to be a record year with some 17.5 million new cars, trucks and SUVs sold. That's a far cry from 2009 when national sales tanked to just 10 million.

What's driving sales is the improved job market, low interest rates and relatively cheap gas.

"Before, we wouldn't consider a bigger SUV, but with gas prices down, we definitely would consider it," Evans said.

Franklin said the price at the pump is reflected in their sales.

"Our trucks are selling," he said. "Filling up the tanks don't cost as much."

Creeping interest rates could have an impact on sales for the new year. However, economists say the industry is poised for another bumper year.


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