Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Business

June 16, 2013

Car dealers’ delight

Dealerships, credit union notice bump in business this spring.

GOSHEN - Auto sales are going up nationwide and Elkhart County dealers are part of that rebound.

“Actually, I am well outperforming that trend,” said Scott Flake, general manager for Eby Ford in Goshen.

The trend Flake referred to is an improvement in sales nationwide that began in 2012 and for most months, continued through May. Autodata Corp., which provides statistical services to the auto industry, reported that vehicle sales in the United States were up 8 percent in May compared to May 2012. That percentage amounted to 1.4 million vehicles being sold. Of those, 173,972 were full-size pickups, according to Autodata.

Flake said Eby’s new vehicle sales were up 20 percent from May to May and are up 25 percent year-to-date. He credits the increase to the combination of an improving economy and Ford Motor Co. offering popular products.

“Ford has done a fantastic job of providing what people want to own instead of trying to sell what they want to build,” Flake said.

He believes the consumer trend is moving away from those who either have enough cash on hand not to worry about the slow economic recovery, or who have to buy a car because their current vehicle needs replaced.

“There certainly are people who are need buyers,” Flake said. “But with the quality of the vehicles today and the (incentive) programs available, people are taking advantage of the perfect buying storm.”

Low rates

A new car loan at Interra Credit Union in Goshen has an interest rate of as low as 2.49 percent. Such a low rate, plus an improving economy, has boosted the number of car loans at the credit union since mid-2012.

“We have seen a tremendous growth in auto loans,” said Phil Wiens, chief lending officer. “Not necessarily in the past couple months, but the past couple of years.”

He said the credit union had a 4 percent growth in auto loans in the first half of 2012, then the growth jumped to 7 percent in the second half. So far this year auto loan business has increased 8.73 percent, according to Wiens. The majority of those loans are for used cars, he said.

Why such growth?

“I think one of the biggest things is pent up demand,” Wiens said. “ They just delayed purchases.”

Elkhart County’s economy was devastated by the 2007 to 2009 recession. With about 40 percent of the county’s economy based on recreational vehicle manufacturing, when that industry teetered, thousands of jobs were lost.

Now the RV industry is rebounding, leading the county back to prosperity, and auto dealers believe the creation of RV factory jobs has helped build local consumer confidence.

“We are very optimistic,” said Dzung Nguyen, owner of Goshen Motors, a GMC, Buick and Hyundai dealership. “We don’t think the market is great, but it is much better than it was three to four years ago. The RV market is doing very well.”

He said his dealership’s sales gains this spring are close to the national figures and he is looking for qualified service technicians to fill openings.

“I wouldn’t say we are at pre-recession sales, but over the last two to three years it has tremendously improved,” Nguyen said.

He is optimistic about the future of local new car sales and is making a significant investment in modifying his dealership building to meet the new GMC facade and branding requirements.

And, he believes GMC’s new Sierra pickup, which has just gone into production, will be a big seller in coming months.

He said for automakers to introduce a new vehicle, such as the Sierra, they have to invest $1 to $2 billion.

“If your product is out more than three years without a refresh, you will be old,” he said. “It is no different than any other competitive business. You have to understand what your niche is and what your market is and you have to differentiate that.”

Like Flake, Mike Lowery at Lochmandy Motors in Elkhart, believes incentives from manufacturers are attracting customers.

“Part of the influx is the very competitive lease rates from manufacturers that we didn’t have before,” Lowery said.

And he said car loans are much easier to get than a few years ago.

Sales at the dealership have been about average, according to Lowery, but he has noticed an increase in interest in pickups.

“They (consumers) can pull their boats and RVs. That walks hand-in-hand with the RV market coming back,” Lowery said. “People who traded in their pickups trucks for higher mileage vehicles are perhaps rewarding themselves for what they went through a few years ago.”

 

1
Text Only
Business
  • Drew Industries has record 2nd quarter ELKHART — Drew Industries Inc., the parent company of Lippert Components, has reported record sales in its second quarter.The company manufactures components for recreational vehicles and manufactured homes.The company reported net income of $18.6 mi

    August 1, 2014

  • BIZ GN140801 eby ford image 02 Eby Ford renovates showroom and more GOSHEN — The remodeled and expanded Eby Ford, Lincoln, Mercury dealership was celebrated Thursday night during an open house and ribbon cutting. “Without our awesome customers, we wouldn’t be here,” said owner Todd Eby as he addressed the crowd of fr

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Economy GDP-3 [Duplicate] U.S. economy heating up First quarter growth hits 4 percent

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • BIZ GN0731 soapy gnome image 02 Soapy Gnome offers sustainable skin-care products GOSHEN — You can smell the fragrant products in the Soapy Gnome shop before you get to the front door. Tucked in a walkdown storefront at East Lincoln Avenue, at 111B, Jenny Frech and her husband Jeremy Friesen recently moved the store to the locati

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • BIZ GN0730 Growing kids daycare image New day care center will open in August GOSHEN — There’s a Main Street in downtown Goshen and now there’s another, shorter Main Street in Goshen. The new road is located inside the new Growing Kids Learning Center.The newly-built center is located at Elkhart Road and C.R. 17. The day care

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Digital Life Review Amazon Phone-9 [Duplicate] Amazon Fire breaks ground for phones NEW YORK — What I find fascinating about Amazon’s Fire phone isn’t the gizmos such as the 3-D imagery or the camera scanner that helps you get more information about products.Rather, I like that Amazon is thinking a lot about how phones ought to work

    July 28, 2014 5 Photos

  • News and South Bend Tribune reach delivery agreement GOSHEN — The Goshen News announced today it has reached an agreement with the South Bend Tribune to have its newspaper carriers deliver the Goshen News in Elkhart, LaGrange and Kosciusko counties. According to Publisher Ron Smith, the agreement will

    July 28, 2014

  • BIZ GN140727 urban gypsy image Crafters open Urban Gypsy & Co in Goshen GOSHEN — A shop filled with colorful and fragrant items along East Lincoln Avenue has become part of the growing arts and artisan culture in the city.Urban Gypsy & Co. is at 111 E. Lincoln Ave.Missy Wrathell, Elkhart, and McKenzie Beiler and Kristin

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • PicPlayPost: App to create dynamic collages If you have a smartphone, you’ve likely seen and used various photo collage apps that allow you to add multiple photos that are then combined into one image collage. There are many to choose from and they all work about the same.PicPlayPost is differ

    July 27, 2014

  • Fast Food Workers Convention-3 [Duplicate] Fast food workers push wage hike CHICAGO — Fast food workers say they’re prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers are expected to discuss the future of the ef

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Poll

Classes at Goshen Community Schools and St. John the Evangelist Catholic School will begin the 2014-15 school year on Thursday, Aug. 7. School corporations throughout the state have been trending toward earlier start dates the past few years. When do you think school should start?

I think early August is a good time to start
I think later in August would be a good time to start
I think school should start after Labor Day
     View Results