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Auto sales remain strong during the pandemic

Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 5:35 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -A city block of cars and trucks wait to be sold.

Even though the car buying process now includes masking up, Scott Moore with Eau Claire Auto Group said the pandemic hasn’t significantly impacted auto sales.

“Sales for us were pretty close to normal probably down 5 to 10 percent, but considering everything that was going on, we’re pretty darn happy with that,” Moore said.

Moore said throughout the year, car prices have been fairly consistent. One of the problems however has been getting inventory.

“Without as many customers means there’s not as many trade ins,” Moore said. “Without trade-ins, there’s not as many used cars, you know, so that’s had that ebb and flow a little bit, but then all of a sudden the market comes right back, so like I said, we’ve been very fortunate, very consistent. We have a really good customer base.”

Over at Chilson Subaru in Eau Claire, car prices have stayed about the same. Overall car sales have also rivaled previous years.

One of the managers, Jeanne Chilson, said demand’s been really strong since they re-opened in April.

“Everybody that was out was really buying, so I think there was a lot of pent up demand,” Chilson said. “I also think a lot of people knew that they maybe weren’t going to take that normal vacation with flights and hotels and all that where they were taking more road trips and daytrips.”

Chilson said some of this demand also came from people who bought boats or campers during the pandemic and needed a vehicle that could pull it.

Looking ahead to the rest of 2021, local car dealerships are optimistic about the future.

Most years car sales slow down during the winter months. This first taste of spring has sales on the rise once again.

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