Monday AM April 5th, 2010

Auto dealers in Houston are optimistic about the rest of the year after last week's encouraging sales numbers for the first part of 2010. Jack Williams reports.

cars in a rowThe surprising numbers show most domestic and foreign automobile manufacturers with strong sales last month, up dramatically from the same period in a very bleak 2009. At Westside Chevrolet and Westside Kia in Katy, General Manager Cesar Prado says sales jumped last month.

"We doubled the amount of cars that we sold last year in the month of March, and for the year, we're up 37.2 percent."

Prado says customers seem to be more optimistic about the economy.

"Their starting to loosen-up their purse-strings. I think this year is going to be better than what they forecast initially for car sales. I think toward the third quarter you're going to see a real rebound."

Big incentives have helped local dealers as well. Toyota has offered 0% APR as it rebounds from its acceleration issues. The company saw its sales jump 41-percent in March.

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...