New car sales continue slide

WARREN – Local buyers purchased 116 fewer new automobiles in December than they did a year ago, according to numbers released Thursday for the tri-county market.

Dealers in Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties sold 1,607 new automobiles last month, compared to 1,723 sold in December 2011, the Automobile Dealers Association of Eastern Ohio reported.

Year-to-date, dealers finished the year down nearly 4 percent, or 891 new vehicle sales in the tri-county area.

Taylor Kia led all local new car sales in December, with 91. Still, that was six less that the dealership sold in December 2011. Austintown’s Bob & Chuck Eddy Chrysler Dodge Jeep finished the month with the second-most new car sales, 83, and Austintown’s Greenwood Chevrolet sold 75 new autos for third place.

Diane Sauer Chevrolet in Warren was the top Trumbull County new-car seller. The dealership sold 55 new cars in December, up from 47 a year ago. Apostolakis Honda sold 49 new cars for the second most in Trumbull County and Klaben Ford Lincoln of Warren sold 48 for third place. They were followed by Sims Buick GMC Nissan with 46 and Greenwood Hubbard Chevrolet with 43.

Overall, Trumbull County dealers saw an increase in new car sales to 410 in December from 399 in December 2011.

Used car sales also lagged in December, with buyers taking home 477 fewer in December than in December 2011. Year-to-date, however, used car sales increased by 0.7 percent to 40,848 over 40,560 this time a year ago.

The top used-car sellers last month in the tri-county market were Greenwood Chevrolet with 96; Fred Martin Ford Mercedes with 68; and Sweeney Buick GMC with 65.

Chevrolet remained the top-selling local make, but the Lordstown-built Cruze dropped from first to fifth place among all local new car sales. Statistics show only 52 Cruzes were sold locally in December, down about 65 percent from last December.

The Chevy Silverado 1500 full-size pickup truck ranked first in local sales at 90, and the Chevy Equinox came in second with buyers taking delivery on 86 vehicles. Tied for third was the Chevy Malibu and the Ford F-150 pickup truck, both with 55 sales.