Thursday AM November 13th, 2008

Houston car and truck dealers say they're seeing a slight rebound in sales as gas prices have dropped the last month or so. Jack Williams reports.
image of While national car and truck sales are off about 30-percent this year, Houston sales have dipped only about 17-percent. Walter Wainwright is president of the Houston Automobile Dealers Association. He says cheaper gas means more people are interested in trucks and SUV's again.

"I don't think there's any question that we see people, some people, that are maybe looking at getting back in the market, who are back in the market, who were scared off by $4 a gallon gas and now it's less than $2."

Wainwright says manufacturers have responded with more fuel efficient trucks and SUV's and should be better positioned if gas prices go up again. And he says despite the credit crunch, there is still financing available.

"There are a lot of people out there who have good jobs, who have good, fairly good credit and who might be a little bit reticent to go into the market because they think they're not going to be able to get financing. That's just simply not true. The dealer can help you do that."

Wainwright says most Houston dealers have weathered the credit crunch because of other aspects of their businesses that haven't suffered, like service departments.
Bio photo of Jack Williams

Jack Williams

Director of News Programming

News Director Jack Williams has been with Houston Public Radio since August of 2000. He's also a reporter and anchor for Houston Public Radio's local All Things Considered segments...