Local Auto Sales Dip 14.3% as Virus Impact Lands

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The first signs of the financial impact of the coronavirus on the auto industry showed in March, as local dealerships posted a 14.3% decline in sales of new and used cars.

New-car sales totaled 2,255 in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties last month, down 17.2% from a year ago. Used-car sales fell 10.9% to 2,007.

Topping the monthly new-car sales chart released by the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers Association was Sweeney Chevrolet, Boardman, with 163, down 53 from a year ago. Following were Greenwood Chevrolet, Austintown, with 141, down 18; Sweeney Buick GMC, Boardman, with 114, down 12; Taylor Kia of Boardman, 107, up 33 and Toyota of Boardman, 100, up nine.

Atop the used-car sales chart was Greenwood Chevy with 122, down six from the year prior. 

Many dealerships either cut back on sales or closed entirely following Gov. Mike DeWine’s stay-at-home order March 22. Businesses that sell or repair vehicles are named as essential business, but many dealerships have cut back operations.

Across the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers Association’s 22-county membership area, sales were down 11.6% to 7,786. 

“Coming out of the Cleveland Auto Show, which ended March 1st, the momentum for new motor vehicle sales was high,” said President Louis A. Vitantonio in a statement. “As the middle of March approached, sales of new and used vehicles slowed drastically.  Dealerships have scaled back their operations in compliance with the governor’s orders which will limit April sales and beyond.”

Read more about the impact of the coronavirus on the auto industry in the MidApril issue of The Business Journal.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.