Car dealers look to rev up sales during pandemic

Credit: WINK News

Want to drive home a deal? Now might be the right time for many of you to slide into a new car.

Dealerships are making deals such as low-priced leases, matching others’ ads and months of deferred payments to get you into one of their cars.

At the start of the pandemic, Sutherlin Nissan struggled.

“It was a learning curve. Day by day, things got better,” said Michael Spinazze, general manager and managing partner of Sutherlin Nissan.

After a few adjustments, like extra sanitizing and making it easier for customers to buy, cars are rolling off the lot.

“Can you get a better car deal right now? Absolutely,” Spinazze said.

Sutherlin Nissan said they’ve taken some of the money that would normally go toward advertising and put it toward deals and sales, which has helped get more cars off the lot, regardless of a customer’s current financial situation.

“I think it’s also brought in a lot of customers not really in the market for the car but because they can better the situation that they’re in right now, lower their payments, lower their interest rates and take advantage of all the incentives that we and the manufacturer are offering.”

Although car sales are getting back to normal here, Richard Baker, president of the South Florida Automobile Dealership Association, said that’s not necessarily the case across the state.

“If you don’t need a car, it’s hard to sell you a car. And if you don’t have the ability to make a payment, it’s hard to qualify you to sell you a car. It’s a catch 22,” Baker said.

He said people need to get their jobs back.

“Money is cheap and gasoline is cheap so we’re trying to make the car as affordable as possible to people that don’t have jobs,” Baker said.

Sutherlin Nissan believes the COVID-19 pandemic will change the way people buy cars and the industry needs to adjust to that change.

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