Cleveland area auto sales remain strong, industry forecasts say

The Cleveland auto market continues to produce strong numbers through the first two fiscal quarters of 2017, according to industry forecasts.

Sales have increased by more than four percent, according to new industry figures released by the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers Association.

In comparing vehicle sales with July 2017, and July 2016, the statistics show an overall growth of two percent and strong gains for trucks and SUVs while car sales saw decreases, the Automobile Dealers Association said.

Trends in the industry see the Cleveland area moving strongly toward trucks and SUVs with sales in this vehicle class by growing by 21 percent compared to July 2016, making them the fastest-growing market segment, the Automobile Dealers Association said.


“Attractive new 2018 models and strong incentives should continue to draw customers into local dealers’ showrooms,” said Louis A. Vitantonio, president of the Automobile Dealers Association in an Aug. 3 news release. “Despite having softer sales across the nation, the basic market dynamics are still very healthy.

“Dealers are anticipating a national market of between 16 million and 17 million new vehicles sold. Locally, we anticipate a strong finish for 2017.”

Ford has continued to lead the way as the top selling manufacturer in the area due mostly to the sales of trucks and SUVs, slightly edging out Chevrolet compared to figures released at the half-way mark of 2016.

Sales of Honda, Toyota and Jeeps rounded out the top five across vehicle classes, according to the release.

In July 2017 alone, Ford increased its sales in this sector by more than 52 percent, the release said.

Chuck Sturgill, general manager of Nick Abraham Ford in Elyria, said the newly released figures are a reflection of what he has seen at his dealership and the market trends.

“It’s been a good year, so I can’t complain,” Sturgill said. “As far as predicting the market, who knows. But I think if the status quo stays the same it will be a good year sales wise.”

Sturgill added he has seen the increase in demand for trucks and SUVs take place over several years, complementing a consistent flow of sales to Ford’s truck and car lines which has provided more choices to consumers.

“The trucks have been pretty popular for a while,” he said. “The trucks have become such nice vehicles and they are like driving a car.

“It’s not really like your grandpa’s truck anymore. As far as our vehicles are concerned, they just keep getting better and better.”


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