WARREN — Automobile dealers in the Mahoning Valley continued an upward sales trend three months into 2019 compared to the first quarter of last year.
There were 24,159 new and used vehicles sold in January, February and March at dealerships in Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties. That’s up from 22,929 from the same three-month period in 2018, according to a report from the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association.
Dealers in March sold 8,814 new and used vehicles, up from 8,772 in March 2018.
That report accounts for sales by dealerships anywhere in Ohio, provided the dealer sells at least 10 vehicles to buyers in Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties.
A separate report of sales only to residents in the three-county area provides a similar picture for the quarter.
There were 13,963 new and used automobiles sold in the region in the first quarter of 2019, up from 13,710 last year.
A month-to-month comparison for March, however, shows a decrease last month of 270 vehicles to 5,027 against 5,297 in March 2018.
Dealerships in Trumbull County with the most sales across Ohio in March were Sims Buick GMC Truck, 152; Greenwood Hubbard Chevrolet, 140; Klaben Ford Lincoln of Warren, 109; Diane Sauer Chevrolet, 102; and Apostolakis Honda, 78.
The top new vehicle sellers in March for sales in the Mahoning Valley were Sims Buick GMC Truck, 82; Greenwood Hubbard Chevrolet, 63; Klaben Ford Lincoln of Warren and Diane Sauer Chevrolet, tied at 53; Cole Valley Chevrolet, 45; and Toyota Volvo of Warren, 42.
The top used vehicle sellers in the three-county region last month were Greenwood Hubbard Chevrolet, 71; Sims Buick GMC Truck, 62; Klaben Ford Lincoln of Warren and Cole Valley Motor Co., tied at 44; Diane Sauer Chevrolet, 42; and Apostolakis Honda, 35;
Tops in the Mahoning Valley for sales across Ohio in March was Greenwood Chevrolet with 299.
In the Greater Cleveland area, new vehicle sales were down in March, according to the association. Franchised new vehicle dealers sold 20,521 new vehicles last month compared to 22,743 in March 2018.
“The numbers for March were softer than we anticipated, but mirror a national trend of slowing new vehicle sales,” said Louis A. Vitantonio, dealers’ association president. “The positive impact of the tax cuts is starting to wear off, and the government shutdown did have some negative effect on the market.”
Consumer confidence remains strong, however, according to Vitantonio, who expects that to translate into a strong 2019 for new vehicle sales.