Page 52 - BusinessWest February 17, 2021
P. 52

  Auto Sales
Revving Up
Auto Dealers Finish Strong and Look Ahead to 2021
  IBy Mark Morris
n the early days of the pandemic, people huddled in their homes while streets were abandoned by nearly all traffic. Area auto deal- ers, understandably, braced for a slow year.
Instead, sales for many dealers hit record highs in 2020.
It was that kind of year for Jack Sarat, dealer principal for Sarat Ford, who said the pandemic definitely kept sales down in March. “After that, business rebounded, starting with a strong finish in April, and then every month following kept getting better.”
Auto-manufacturing facilities and many of their subcontractors around the world experienced shutdowns early in the pandemic. Steve Lewis, owner and president of Steve Lewis Subaru, said the delays kept inventories low at many dealerships and were also a factor in sluggish sales early in the spring.
“Once the factories were up and running again, around May or June, our inventory started to build back up, and it continues to build,” Lewis said. “Believe it or not, 2020 was our best year ever.”
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